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THE author of the " Journal of a Woman of 
Fifty Years," Henriette-Lucie Dillon, was 
born at Paris, 25 February 1770, and died 
at Pisa, Italy, 2 April 1853. The 21 May 1787, she 
married FrederioSeraphin, Comte de Gouvernet, 
who upon the death of his father on the scaffold, 
28 April 1794, took the title of Comte de La Tour 
du Pin de Gouvernet. Under the Second Restoration 
he was named a Peer of France and given the title 
of Marquis. The events of his life from the date of 
his marriage to the epoch of the Hundred Days are 
told in the following memoirs of his wife. Other 
details of his career will be found in the Postscript. 

In her "Journal" Madame de La Tour du Pin 
relates all the notable incidents of the period of her 
life comprised between her childhood and the end 
of the month of March, 1815, immediately following 
the return of Napoleon from Elba. Her history from 
that time on is closely linked with that of her husband, 
and will be related in that connection. 

Her memoirs were written from time to time, with 
long interruptions. Commenced on the first day of 
January, 1820, the last pages of the First Part were 
not finished, or put in final shape, until about twenty 
years later. The Second Part was not begun until 
February, 1843, and at the time of her death ten 



years later had been completed only to the month of 
March, 1815. 

At her death in 1853, she left the manuscript to her 
only surviving son, Aymar, who in turn willed it to 
his nephew, Hadelin, Comte de Liedekerke-Beaufort, 
who confided it a short time before his death to his 
son Aymar, by whom the memoirs were published in 
Paris in 1906. The book met with an immediate and 
well-deserved success, and in a few years reached the 
sixteenth edition. 

In his Preface the Comte de Liedekerke-Beaufort 
says that with the Marquise de La Tour du Pin dis- 
appeared one of the last vestiges of the high society 
of the period before the Revolution, of which the 
traditions have to-day completely vanished. The 
reader of these memoirs cannot fail to appreciate the 
high qualities of heart and soul and mind shown by 
the author. Those who knew her, both esteemed and 
loved her. They united in saying that rarely was 
greater stability united to greater charms, more con- 
stant fidelity to duty to greater kindliness. Endowed 
with a retentive memory, which recalled in her con- 
versation the varied recollections of so many different 
periods, Madame de La Tour du Pin interested to 
the highest degree the thoughtful and serious-minded, 
as she attracted to her the young, whose tastes she 
understood and whose faults she excused. 

According to the statement of the Editor of the 
French edition, the recollections brought together in 
these memoirs by Madame de La Tour du Pin were, 
in her mind, intended for her only surviving son, 
Aymar, and were not written originally with the 



idea of publication. They therefore contain many 
pages of intimate details of family life, and other 
matters, which would not be of interest to the general 
public, and which it has therefore been thought 
advisable to omit from this edition. 


July IQ20 






Her Earliest Years. Members of Her Family. Her 
Sad and Precocious Infancy. Her Maid Marguerite. 
Society Before the Revolution. An Archbishop's 
Mode of Life. Toilettes of Men and Women. 
Dinners and Suppers. Chateau of Hautefontaine. 
Louis XVI Jealous of the Hunting Establishment. 
Sojourn at Versailles in 1781. The Queen's Friend- 
ship for Madame Dillon I 



Illness of Mme. Dillon. She is Ordered to the Waters of 
Spa. Indignation of Her Mother. Intervention of 
the Queen. Departure for Brussels. Lord and 
Lady Dillon. Lady Kenmare. Education of Mile. 
Dillon. Sojourn at Brussels. Visit to the Arch- 
duchess Marie-Christine. Sojourn at Spa. Return 
to Paris. Death of Mme. Dillon. Description of 
Hautefontaine. Purchase of the Folie Joyeuse at 
Montfermeil 10 






Annual Trip of Mile. Dillon to Languedoc. Method of 
Travel at That Epoch. The Route to Languedoc. 
Nimes and Montpellier. Etiquette at Dinners. 
Society at Montpellier. Return of Monsieur Dillon 
to France. He Weds Mme. de La Touche. He 
Takes the Government of Tabago. First Plan for the 
Marriage of Mile. Dillon. Sojourn at Bordeaux. 
Another Dillon Family. The Comte de La Tour du 
Pin and His Son, the Comte de Gouvernet 19 



New Marriage Plans. The Marquis Adrien de Laval. 
Fortune of Mile. Dillon. Regiments of the Irish 
Brigade. Portrait of Mile. Dillon. Marechal de 
Biron. Rupture with Monsieur Adrien de Laval. 
The Vicomte de Fleury. M. Esperance de L'Aigle. 
The Comte de Gouvernet. Decision of Mile. 
Dillon 31 



Convocation of the Notables. Return to Paris. Death 
of Mme. de Monconseil. Monsieur de Gouvernet's 
Marriage Proposal Accepted. Visit of Mme. d'Henin. 
[ viii ] 



Signature of the Contract. Toilette the Day of 
the Fiangailles. Politeness of this Epoch. The 
Four Lameth Brothers. The Marriage Contract. 
The Comte and Comtesse de La Tour du Pin. A 
Visit to the Queen. At Montfermeil. The Trous- 
seau and the Corbeille 38 



A Marriage in High Society at the End of the 18th 
Century. The Nuptial Benediction. The Mar- 
riage Souvenirs. Toilette of the Bride. Presenta- 
tion to the Queen. Rehearsal with the Maitre a 
Danser. The Presentation Toilette. The Sunday 
Court. Portrait of the King. The Art of Walking 
at Versailles. The Mass. The Royal Dinner 43 



Civil War in Holland. Feebleness of the French Govern- 
ment. Mme. de La Tour du Pin at Henencourt. 
Excursion to Lille. Return to Montfermeil. The 
Loges of the Queen at the Theatres. Mme. de La 
Tour du Pin in Society. Mme. de Montesson and 
the Due d'Orleans. Rupture of Mme. de La Tour 
du Pin with Her Family 52 






Sojourn with Mme. d'Henin. Monsieur de La Tour du 
Pin, Colonel de Royal-Vaisseaux. Indiscipline of the 
Officers of the Regiment. Prince Henry of Prussia. 

His Taste for French Literature. The Hotel de 
Rochechouart. Comte de Chinon, afterwards Due 
de Richelieu. A Ball at Lord Dorset's. Approach 
of the Revolution. Popularity of the Due d'Orleans. 

Causes of the Antipathy of the Queen to the Due. 

Popularity of English Fashions. The Origin of 
Monsieur de Lally-Tollendal 61 



Mme. deGenlis. Education of the Young Orleans Princes. 

Pamela. Horse Races at Vincennes. First 
Popular Meetings. Residence at Versailles. Sess- 
ion of the Opening of the States-General. Attitude 
of the King and Queen. Feebleness of the Court. 

Departure of Monsieur Necker. The 14th of July 
1789. Return of Mme. de La Tour du Pin to Paris. 
The Waters of Forges 73 



Monsieur de La Tour du Pin Pere, Minister of War. Of- 
ficial Dinners. Commencement of the Emigration. 
Ruin of the La Tour du Pin Family. The Controle- 




General and Mme. de Stael. Organization of the 
National Guard of Versailles. Monsieur de La Tour 
du Pin, Second in Command. The National Guard 
of Paris and Monsieurde La Fayette. Banquet of the 
Gardes du Corps at the Chateau. Day of the 5th of 
October. The King at the Hunt. Paris Marches 
on Versailles. Arrangements for the Defence. The 
Women of Paris at Versailles. Revolt of the National 
Guard of Versailles. Plan for the Departure of the 
Royal Family for Rambouillet. Invasion of the 
Offices of the Ministry. Hesitation of the King. 
Monsieur de La Fayette with the King. Calm Re- 
established. Day of the 6th of October. An Armed 
Band Invades the Chateau. Massacre of the Gardes 
du Corps. Attempted Assassination of the Queen. 
Presence of the Due d'Orleans. Departure of the 
Royal Family for Paris. The King Confides the 
Guard of the Palace to Monsieur de La Tour du 
Pin. Mme. de La Tour du Pin Takes Refuge at 
Saint-Germain 84 



Residence of Mme. de La Tour du Pin at Paris. The 
Minister of War at the Hotel de Choiseul. Birth of 
Humbert. Kindness of the Queen for Mme. de La 
Tour du Pin. The Fete of the Federation. The 
Garrison of Paris. Composition of the National 
Guard. Monsieur de La Fayette. Talleyrand, 
Bishop of Autun. The Spectacle at the Champ-de- 
Mars. The Royal Family. Excursion to Switzer- 
land. An Adventure at Dole. Four Days of Cap- 
tivity. Departure from Dole. The Lake of Geneva. 




Revolt of the Garrison of Nancy. Monsieur de 
La Tour du Pin Sent as Parlementaire. Suppression 
of the Revolt. Sojourn at Lausanne. Return to 
Paris via Alsace 108 



Sojourn at Paris. Monsieur de La Tour du Pin Leaves 
the Ministry of War. His Son Refuses the Post. 
Is Named as Minister to Holland. Residence at Rue 
de Varenne. The Flight of the Royal Family. De- 
parture for Holland. The Lameth Family. Life of 
Pleasure at The Hague. Recall of Monsieur de La 
Tour du Pin. Decree against the Emigres. Flight 
of La Fayette. Mme, de La Tour du Pin Returns 
to France 122 



Vexations of Travel in France. Residence at Passy. 
The 21 January, 1793. Portrait of Monsieur Arthur 
Dillon. Retirement to Le Bouilh. Bordeaux 
and the Federation. Arrest of Monsieur de La Tour 
du Pin Pere. His Son and Daughter-in-Law Take 
Refuge at Canoles with Monsieur de Brouquens. 
The Guillotine at Bordeaux. Birth of Seraphine. 
Flight of Monsieur de La Tour du Pin. Arrest of 
Monsieur de Brouquens. Confrontation of the 
Queen and the Former Minister of War. Precipitate 
Departure of His Son from Bouilh. Three Months of 

Forced Retirement at Mirambeau 137 






The Seals at Le Bouilh. Refuge at Bordeaux with Bonie. 
The Pain de la Section. The Queue at the Door of 
the Butchers and Bakers. Arrest of the English and 
Americans. A Belle Grisette. Unexpected Protec- 
tion. Mme. Tallien. Interview with Tallien. Mon- 
sieur de La Tour du Pin Takes Refuge at Tesson. New 
Flight. Return to Tesson. The Cartes de Surete . . 151 



Alarming Situation of Mme. de La Tour du Pin at Bor- 
deaux and of Her Husband at Tesson. Certificates of 
Residence with Nine Witnesses. Decision to Leave 
for America. The American Vessel "Diane". Pre- 
parations for Departure. On the Arm of Tallien. 
Passport of the Citizen Latour. Anxiety over the 
Delay. Return of Monsieur de La Tour du Pin. 
How He Came Back from Tesson 163 



Delivery of the Passport. The Vise by Ysabeau. Mon- 
sieur de Fontenay and his Wife's Diamonds. Final 
Preparations. Adieux to Marguerite. Monsieur de 
Chambeau Accompanies Us. Embarkment on the 
"Diane". The Boat and Its Equipment. Off the 
Azores. The Pilot. The Port of Boston. Joy at 
Arriving 173 







Adieux to the "Diane". Joy of Being in a Friendly 
Country. Temporary Residence at Boston. Mr. 
Geyer. General Schuyler. Sale of Superfluous 
Articles. Departure for Albany. Mme. de La 
Tour du Pin Learns of the Death of her Father. The 
Inn at Lebanon. Arrival at Albany. Friendly 
Reception by General Schuyler and the Van Rens- 
selaer Family. Mrs. Van Rensselaer. Talleyrand 
in America 183 



En Pension with the Van Burens. Mme. de La Tour du 
Pin's Father-in-Law. Apprenticeship as Farmer. 
Purchase of a Farm. Temporary Residence at Troy. 

A Log House. Unexpected Visit of Monsieur de 
Talleyrand. News of the 9 Thermidor. An Ap- 
preciation of Monsieur de Talleyrand. Mr. Law. 

Alexander Hamilton. Beginning of Winter. 
First Encounter with the Indians. Purchase of 
the First Negro, Minck. Repairs of the Farm-house. 

Activity of Mme. de La Tour du Pin 196 






Family Life at the Farm. The Arrival of Spring. The 
Indians. Their Passion for Rum. The Shakers. 

A Visit to Their Establishment. A Visit from 
Messieurs de Liancourt and Dupetit-Theuars. 
Talleyrand and the Banker Morris. Plans for a 
Trip to Philadelphia and New York 210 



Fulton's Invention. The Trip to New York. The 
Hudson River. West Point. Sojourn at New York. 

Alexander Hamilton. The Yellow Fever. Pre- 
cipitate Departure. General Gates. Return to the 
Farm. Death of Seraphine. Gathering the Apples 
and Making Cider. The Crop of Corn. Ice in the 
River. Recovery of a Portrait of the Queen 223 



News from France. Return Decided Upon. Regrets 
of Mme. de La Tour du Pin. The Slaves Receive 
Their Liberty. Departure for Europe. The Wait 
at New York. Arrival at Cadiz. The Quarantine. 

Visit of the Customs Officers. Mode of Travel in 
Spain at this Epoch. A Bull Fight. Departure 
from Cadiz. The Inns. Cathedral of Cordova. 

In the Sierra Morena. At Madrid .... 23 7 






Departure from Madrid. The Escurial. Arrival at 
Saint-Sebastien. Bonie Rejoins Us. Apprehen- 
sions on Returning to France. Arrival at Bayonne. 
Monsieur de Brouquens Again. Arrival at Le Bouilh. 

Devastation of the Chateau. The Library Saved. 

Return of Marguerite. Birth of Charlotte. Ab- 
sence of Monsieur de La Tour du Pin. Fortune 
Compromised. Dispersion of the Family Souvenirs. 

Trip to Paris. Devastation of the Chateau of 
Tesson. Talleyrand, Minister of Foreign Affairs. 
Jealousy of Tallien 256 



The 18 Fructidor. A Promenade in Paris. Mme. de 
Stael and Benjamin Constant. Expulsion of the 
Returned Emigres. Situation of Monsieur and Mme. 
de La Tour du Pin. Conduct of Talleyrand and 
Tallien. New Exile. A Friend from America. 
Cordial Reception by Lady Jerningham. Visit of 
Mme. Dillon. Mme. de Rothe and the Archbishop 
of Narbonne. Lord Dillon. His Apostasy and 
Marriage with an Actress. Lord Kenmare and His 
Daughter. Dominating Character of Mme. d'Henin. 
Society of the Emigres. Departure for Cossey. 
The Races at Newmarket. Kindness of Lady Jer- 
ningham. Life at Cossey. The Family Table. 
Residence at Richmond with Mme. d'Henin. An 
Inheritance Difficult to Realize. Money Troubles of 

Mme. de La Tour du Pin 273 






The Princesse de Bouillon in England. Birth and Death 
of Edward. Change of Residence at Richmond. 
Facilities of Life in England. Narrow Circumstances 
of Monsieur and Mme. de La Tour du Pin. Distress 
of Monsieur de Chambeau. He is Aided by Mon- 
sieur de La Tour du Pin. The One Hundred Pounds 
of Edward Jerningham. A Week at London. An 
Eight Days' Excursion. Plans for Return to France 
Abandoned. The Circulating Library 293 



Again at Cossey. News of the 18 Brumaire. Plans for 
Return to France. The Wait at Yarmouth. The 
Crossing. The Debarkment at Cuxhaven. In the 
North of Germany. The Ball at Wildeshausen. 
Birth of Cecile. En Route for Holland.- At 
Utrecht. Unexpected Meeting with Mme. d'Henin. 
Arrival at Paris. Residence in the Rue de Mi- 
romesnil. Mme. Bonaparte. Monsieur de Beau- 
harnais the Best Dancer in Paris. The Morality of 
Talleyrand. A Visit to Mme. Bonaparte. Certifi- 
cates of Residence. At Malmaison. The Gallery 
of Mme. Bonaparte. Mme. de Stae'l and Bonaparte 302 






Sale of the Paris House. Departure for Le Bouilh. Life 
There. Education of Mile, de Lally. Establish- 
ment of the Empire. Birth of Aymar. Marriage 
of Mile, de Lally and Henri d'Aux 317 



Humbert Leaves for Antwerp. Grief over the Separation. 

Visit of the Emperor to Bordeaux. His Passage 
of the River at Cubzac. Mme. de La Tour du Pin 
Summoned to Bordeaux. The Court Assembly. 

Presentation to the Emperor. The Salon of 
the Empress. Her Entourage. Strict Rules for 
Her Days Dictated by the Emperor. Anxiety of 
Josephine over the Rumors of Her Divorce. A Note 
from the Emperor. Departure of the Empress. 
Return to Le Bouilh. Monsieur de La Tour du Pin 
Appointed Prefet at Brussels. Mme. de La Tour du 
Pin, Dame d'Honneur of the Queen of Spain. 
Presentation to the Queen. The Prince de la Paix. 
Departure of the Spanish Sovereigns 327 



Commencement of a New Life. Judicious Choice of 
Monsieur de La Tour du Pin for the Prefecture. De- 
parture from Le Bouilh. Mile. Fanny Dillon and 
[ xviii ] 



the Prince Pignatelli. Project of Her Marriage with 
General Bertrand. A Delicate Mission to the 
Empress Josephine. Wives of the Officers at 
Brussels. The Dowager Duchesse d'Arenberg. 
Her Suppers. Her Reception of Monsieur and Mme. 
de La Tour du Pin. A Study of Brussels Society. 
Organization of the House. Napoleon Obtains Con- 
sent of Mile. Fanny Dillon to Marry General Bertrand. 
Eight Days for the Marriage. Meeting with 
General Bertrand. Details of the Marriage Arranged 
by the Emperor. Mme. de La Tour du Pin Received 
by the Emperor at Saint-Cloud. Signature of the 
Contract. Marriage at Saint-Leu. The Emeralds 
of Queen Hortense 339 



The Winter Season at Brussels. The Ennui of Queen 
Hortense. Arrival of Marie-Louise at Compiegne. 
High Society at Brussels and the Imperial Govern- 
ment. The Guard of Honor. Napoleon and Marie- 
Louise at Brussels. Dinner with the Emperor. 
Ball at the Hotel de Ville. Departure of the Em- 
peror. The Summer at Brussels. Examination of 
Humbert at the Conseil d'Etat. Humbert Ap- 
pointed Sous-Prefet at Florence. Birth of the 
King of Rome. The Private Baptism. The Old 
Guard 355 






Marie-Louise at Laeken. Opening of the Russian Cam- 
paign. Movements of Troops. Monsieur de Liede- 
kerke Demands the Hand of Charlotte de La Tour 
du Pin. Humbert is Appointed Sous-Prefet at Sens. 

Dismissal of the Prefet of Brussels. Mme. de La 
Tour du Pin Leaves for Paris. Request for an 
Audience. Conversation with the Emperor. Sur- 
prise of Monsieur de Montalivet. Monsieur de La 
Tour du Pin Appointed Prefet at Amiens. The As- 
sembly at the Tuileries. Amiability of Napoleon. 
The Last Days at Brussels. Regrets of the Popula- 
tion. Marriage of Charlotte 365 



Society at Amiens. The Prefecture. General Dupont. 

Arrival of the Cossacks. Conversation with 
Talleyrand. His Hatred of Napoleon. Flight of 
Humbert from Sens. In the Ante-chamber of 
Talleyrand. "Vive le Roi!" Distribution of White 
Cockades. Preparations for the Reception of the 
King. The King Enjoys His Dinner. Ill-nature of 
the Duchesse d'Angouleme. Monsieur de La Tour 
du Pin Re-enters Diplomacy. Humbert is Appointed 
Lieutenant of the Black Musketeers 380 

[XX ] 





Monsieur de La Tour du Pin Envoy to the Congress of 
Vienna. His Wife Accompanies Him to Brussels. 
Alexandre de Lameth, Prefet of Amiens. Life at 
Paris. Monsieur de Liedekerke Decorated with the 
Legion of Honor. Mme. de Liedekerke Leaves for 
Vienna with her Husband. The Court of Louis 
XVIIL Two Balls at the Due de Berry's. Lord 
Wellington. News of the Debarkment of Napoleon 
at Cannes. Mme. de La Tour du Pin Decides to 
Leave for Brussels. She Visits the Minister of 
Finance. A Night of Anxiety. At Brussels. Visit 
to the King of Holland. Separation of the Congress 
of Vienna. Mission of Monsieur de La Tour du Pin 
to the Due d'Angouleme 394 


Life of Monsieur and Madame de La Tour du Pin 
after the First Restoration. The Dillon Family. 
Genealogical Table. Biographical Notes. History 
of the Dillon Regiment 406 




Marquise de La Tour du Pin Frontispiece 

Comte de La Tour du Pin de Gouvernet 32 

La Reine Marie Antoinette 48 

Le Marquis de Lally-Tollendal 64 

Anne-Louise Necker; Baronne de Stael 96 

Princesse d'Henin 112 

Le Conventionnel Tallien 160 

Madame Tallien 176 

Le Bateau "La Diane" 192 

Comte Arthur Dillon 208 

Prince de Talleyrand-Perigord 288 

Chateau du Bouilh 304 

L'Imperatrice Josephine 320 

L'Imperatrice Marie-Louise 352 

Comte Humbert de La Tour du Pin de Gouvernet 368 






Her Earliest Years. Members of Her Family. Her Sad and 
Precocious Infancy. Her Maid Marguerite. Society 
Before the Revolution. An Archbishop's Mode of Life. 
Toilettes of Men and Women. Dinners and Suppers. 
Chateau of Hautefontaine. Louis XVI Jealous of the 
Hunting Establishment. Sojourn at Versailles in 1781. 
The Queen's Friendship for Madame Dillon. 

WHOEVER writes a book, almost always 
does so with the idea that it will be read 
either before or after his death. But I do 
not intend to write a book merely the journal of 
my life. If I were only to relate events, a few sheets 
of paper would suffice for a record of so little interest, 
but if I undertake to set forth the history of my 
opinions and my feelings, the journal of my heart, 
the enterprise is more difficult, for to depict one's 
self, self-knowledge is essential, and one does not 
begin to acquire that at fifty years of age. Perhaps 



I shall speak of the past and tell the story of my 
early years only in episodes and without continuity. 
I do not pretend to write my confessions, but al- 
though I should dislike to reveal my faults, I wish 
nevertheless to depict myself as I am and as I have 

I have never written anything except letters to 
those I love. I have no order in my ideas, and little 
method. My memory is already much impaired. 
Moreover, my imagination carries me sometimes so 
far from the subject I wish to follow that it is difficult 
for me to pick up the threads so often broken by 
these digressions. My heart is still so young that I 
have to look at myself in the mirror to realize that 
I am no longer twenty years of age. Let me then 
take advantage of the ardor which still remains, and 
which the infirmities of age may sweep away at any 
moment, to relate some facts of a troubled life, but 
one not so unhappy from the events known to the 
public, as from the secret afflictions known only to 

During my earliest years I was a witness of many 
incidents which should have debased my mind, 
perverted and corrupted my heart, and destroyed in 
me every idea of morality and religion. From the 
age of ten I was present when the conversation was 
most free, and heard expressed the most ungodly 
principles. I was brought up in the house of an arch- 
bishop, where all the rules of religion were daily 
violated. I knew from observation that I was taught 
dogmas and doctrines exactly as I was instructed in 
history and geography. 


My mother had married her cousin, Arthur Dillon, 
with whom she had been brought up, and whom she 
regarded only as a brother. She was very beautiful, 
and the angelic sweetness of her character caused her 
to be loved by everybody. Men adored her, and 
women were not jealous of her. Although free from 
coquetry, she was not sufficiently reserved in her 
relations with men who took her fancy and who, the 
world said, were in love with her. 

One of her admirers in particular spent his entire 
life in the house of my grandmother and of my uncle, 
the Archbishop, where my mother lived. He also went 
to the country with us. The Prince de Guemene, 
nephew of the notorious Cardinal de Rohan, was 
therefore considered by everybody as my mother's 
lover. But I do not think this was true, for the Due 
de Lauzun, the Due de Liancourt, and the Comte de 
Saint-Blancard were equally attentive to her. The 
Comte de Fersen, who was reputed to be the lover 
of Queen Marie-Antoinette, also came to our house 
nearly every day. My mother took the fancy of the 
Queen, who was always impressed by brilliancy. 
Madame Dillon was much in vogue, and for this 
reason only she entered the Royal household and 
became a Dame du Palais. At that time I was seven 
or eight years of age. 

My grandmother, who was a woman of very 
haughty character, and of infinite ill-nature, run- 
ning frequently into a rage, enjoyed nevertheless the 
affections of her daughter. My mother was absolutely 
under her contol. Entirely dependent upon her 
mother in money matters, she had never dared to 



point out, that as the only daughter of her father 
General de Rothe, who died when she was fifteen 
years old, she had the right to control her own 
fortune. My grandmother had taken possession arbi- 
trarily (de vive force) of the domain of Hautefontaine, 
which had been purchased with the funds of her 
husband. Daughter of a Peer of England of slender 
fortune, she had received a very small inheritance. 
But my mother, married at seventeen years of age 
to a man of eighteen, who had been brought up with 
her, and who had no property except his regiment, 
could never find the courage to talk to my grand- 
mother of money matters. The Queen opened her 
eyes to her interests and encouraged her to demand 
an accounting. My grandmother was furious, and in 
place of maternal tenderness, became possessed of an 
inconceivable rage, such as you find described only 
in romances or tragedies. 

My earliest recollections are of the frightful scenes 
between my mother and my grandmother, which I 
was obliged to appear not to notice. Reserve and 
discretion on my part were absolutely necessary. I 
contracted the habit of hiding my feelings. I re- 
member that I was shocked by the way in which my 
mother complained to her friends of my grandmother. 
My father naturally took the part of my mother. 
But I knew that he was under great pecuniary obli- 
gations to my uncle, the Archbishop, and his position, 
to me, seemed false. 

These reflections developed ideas and experiences 
which were too precocious in the head of a child of 



ten years. I never had any infancy. The only person 
who saved me from these bad influences, and en- 
couraged the thoughts of virtue in my heart, was a 
maid who could neither read nor write. She was a 
young peasant, by the name of Marguerite, from the 
neighborhood of Compiegne. She was very devoted 
to me and remained in my service nearly all of her 
life. I knew that Marguerite was worthy of all con- 
fidence and that she would rather die than com- 
promise me by an indiscreet word. 

The manners and customs of society have changed so 
much since the Revolution that I wish to retrace in some 
detail what I recall of the mode of life of my family. 

My great-uncle, the Archbishop of Narbonne, 
rarely visited his diocese. President, ex officio, of the 
States of Languedoc, he visited this province solely 
to preside over the meetings of the States, which were 
in session six weeks during the months of November 
and December. As soon as the meeting was over he 
returned to Paris, under the pretext that the interests 
of his province imperiously claimed his presence at 
the Court, but, in reality, in order to live en grand 
seigneur at Paris and as a courtier at Versailles. 

Besides the archbishopric of Narbonne, which paid 
him 250,000 francs a year, he had an abbey which 
was worth 110,000; still another which was worth 
90,000; and he received an allowance of more than 
50,000 francs for giving dinners every day during the 
meetings of the States. It would seem that with such 
an income he should have been able to live honorably 
and at his ease, but nevertheless he was always in 



financial difficulties. His style of life at Paris was 
noble but simple, and the daily fare, although 
abundant, was reasonable. 

At this epoch grand dinners were never given, be- 
cause every one dined at an early hour at two- 
thirty, or three o'clock at the latest. The ladies were 
sometimes coiffees, but never dressed for dinner. The 
men, on the contrary, were usually dressed in em- 
broidered or plain costumes, according to their age 
or taste, but almost never in evening dress or in 
uniform. Those who were not going out in the even- 
ing, and the master of the house, were in formal 
dress and en neglige, for the necessity of putting on 
a hat deranged the fragile edifice of the curled and 
powdered toupet. After dinner there was general con- 
versation or, sometimes, a game of backgammon. The 
ladies then retired to dress, and the men awaited them 
to go to the theatre, if they were to be in the same loge. 
Those who remained at home received visitors during 
the afternoon. At nine-thirty in the evening the 
guests arrived for supper. 

The supper was the real event of the day in society. 
There were two kinds of suppers those given by 
persons who had them every day, which permitted a 
certain number of persons to drop in when they 
wished, and the more formal affairs, which were more 
brilliant and more numerously attended, and to which 
the guests were invited. I speak of the period of my 
infancy, from 1778 to 1784. I never attended one of 
these fine suppers, but I have often seen my mother 
dressing to go to one at the Hotel de Choiseul or 
the Palais-Royal. 



At this time there were fewer balls than later. 
The costumes worn by the ladies naturally turned 
dancing into a kind of torture. Every one wore heels 
three inches high, which put the foot in an unnatural 
position; a pannier of heavy and stiff whalebone, ex- 
tending to the right and the left; a coiffure a foot 
high, surmounted by a bonnet called pouf, upon 
which feathers, flowers and diamonds were piled up, 
besides a pound of powder and pomade which the 
least movement caused to fall upon the shoulders: 
such a scaffolding rendered it impossible to dance 
with pleasure. But at the suppers, where everybody 
talked or enjoyed a little music, this edifice was not 

But to return to my family. We went to the country 
early in the spring for the whole summer. At the 
chateau of Hautefontaine there were twenty-five 
apartments for guests, and these were often filled. 
The principal season, however, was during the month 
of October. It was then that the colonels came back 
from their regiments, where they had passed four 
months, less the number of hours necessary to return 
to Paris, from which city they scattered to the 
different chateaux to visit their families and their 

At Hautefontaine there was a hunting establish- 
ment, the expense of which was divided between my 
uncle, the Prince de Guemene and the Due de 
Lauzun. I have heard it said that the expense did 
not exceed 30,00x3 francs, but in this sum was not 
included the outlay for the saddle-horses of the 


masters only the dogs, the wages of the huntsmen, 
who were English, their horses and the keep of the 
whole establishment. The hunt was held during the 
summer and autumn in the forests of Compiegne and 
Villers-Cotterets. The hunt establishment was kept 
on such a scale that the poor King Louis XVI was 
seriously jealous. 

At the age of seven I took part in the hunt once 
or twice a week, and when I was ten years old, the 
day of Saint-Hubert, I broke my leg. They tell me 
that I showed great courage and did not make a 
complaint, although it was necessary to carry me 
five leagues on a stretcher. 

My first visit to Versailles was at the time of the 
birth of the first Dauphin in October, 1781. How 
often the recollection of these days of splendor of 
Marie-Antoinette comes to my mind, when I think 
of the torments and ignominies of which she 
was afterwards the unfortunate victim. I went to see 
the ball given by the Gardes du Corps in the Grande 
Salle de Spectacle, in the Chateau of Versailles. The 
Queen opened the ball with a simple young guard. 
She was dressed in a blue gown all sprinkled with 
sapphires and diamonds; beautiful, young, adored 
by all, having just given a Dauphin to France, not 
dreaming of the possibility of a backward step in her 
brilliant career, she was already on the edge of the 

I shall not undertake to describe the intrigues of 
the Court, which my great youth prevented me from 
judging or even comprehending. I heard it said at 



the time that the Queen had commenced to take a 
fancy to Madame de Polignac, who was very pretty, 
but had little animation. Her sister-in-law, the 
Comtesse Diane de Polignac, who was older and 
very intrigante, advised her as to the means of secur- 
ing the royal favor. I recall that Monsieur de Gue- 
mene endeavored to warn my mother of this grow- 
ing favor of Mme. de Polignac, but my mother 
accepted the Queen's love without thinking to profit 
by her favor, either to augment her own fortune or 
to make that of her friends. She felt that she was 
already attacked by the malady from which she was 
to perish less than two years later. 

At this time my father was in America, at the 
head of the first battalion of his regiment. The Dillon 
Regiment had entered the service of France in 1690, 
at the time that James II had lost all hope of re- 
mounting the throne, after the battle of the Boyne. 
The regiment was commanded at that time by my 
great-grandfather, Arthur Dillon.* 

* A genealogical table of the Dillon family and a brief history 
of the Regiment will be found at the end of this volume. 




Illness of Mme. Dillon. She is Ordered to the Waters of Spa. 
Indignation of Her Mother. Intervention of the Queen. 
Departure for Brussels. Lord and Lady Dillon. Lady 
Kenmare. Education of Mile. Dillon. Sojourn at 
Brussels. Visit to the Archduchess Marie-Christine. 
Sojourn at Spa. Return to Paris. Death of Mme. 
Dillon. Description of Hautefontaine. Purchase of the 
Folie Joyeuse at Montfermeil. 

MY mother had always been delicate since 
the birth of her son, who died at the age 
of two years. She did not take any care of 
her health. She rode horseback, hunted the stag, 
and sang with the celebrated Piccini, who was a 
great admirer of her voice. Finally, about the month 
of April, 1782, at the age of thirty-one, she had a 

My grandmother, who did not wish to believe in 
the sickness of her daughter, was at last forced to 
admit that she was seriously ill. My mother consulted 
a physician who then enjoyed a great deal of ce- 
lebrity, and he ordered her to go to Spa. It would be 
difficult to describe the inconceivable rage of my 
grandmother at the idea that her daughter was going 
to the springs. She did not wish to accompany her 
there and refused her money for the journey. I think 



that the Queen came to my mother's help on this 
occasion. We set out from Hautefontaine for Brussels, 
where we passed a month. 

My uncle, Charles Dillon, had married Miss Phipps, 
daughter of Lord Mulgrave. He resided at Brussels, 
as he was not able to live in England on account of 
his numerous debts. At this time he was still a 
Catholic. It was only later that he had the unpardon- 
able feebleness to change his religion and become a 
Protestant, in order to inherit from his maternal 
great-uncle, Lord Lichfield, who made this a condi- 
tion of his heritage of 15,000 pounds sterling. Lady 
Charles Dillon was very beautiful. The year before, 
she had visited Paris with Lady Kenmare, my 
father's sister, who was also a great beauty. She went 
to the Queen's Ball with my mother, and the three 
sisters-in-law were generally admired. A year had 
hardly passed before they were in their tombs. All 
three died at an interval of one week. 

As I have already said, I did not have any in- 
fancy. At twelve years of age my education was al- 
ready far advanced. I had read much, but without 
discrimination. From the age of seven I had been 
given an instructor. He was an organist of Beziers, 
named Combes. He was engaged to give me lessons 
on the clavecin, for at that time pianos were very 
rare. My mother had one to accompany her voice, 
but I was not permitted to touch it. 

I had always had a great desire to improve my 
mind. I wished to know everything, from the cuisine 
to experiments in chemistry, which I made with a 
little apothecary who lived at Hautefontaine. The 


gardener was English, and my maid Marguerite took 
me every day to see his wife who taught me to read 
in that language, generally "Robinson Crusoe," 
of which I was very fond. 

At eleven years of age, my mother, finding that I 
was not speaking English as well as formerly, engaged 
for me an English maid who was expressly brought 
over from England. Her arrival caused me great 
chagrin, as I was separated from my former maid, 

Returning to my story. At Brussels we stayed in 
the house of my aunt. She was in the last stages of 
consumption, but the disease had not impaired her 
beauty, which was really heavenly. She had two 
charming children a boy of four, who afterwards 
became Viscount Dillon, and a girl who later became 
the wife of Sir Thomas Webb. I had a great deal of 
fun with these children. My greatest pleasure was to 
care for them and to put them to sleep. I already had 
the maternal instinct. I felt that these poor children 
would soon be deprived of their mother. I did not 
realize that I myself was so near the same misfortune. 

My mother took me to see Archduchess Marie- 
Christine, who governed the Low Countries with her 
husband, Duke Albert of Saxe-Teschen. While my 
mother was talking with the Archduchess, they 
showed me a cabinet in which there were portfolios 
of prints. I have often thought since that this was 
the beginning of that superb collection of engravings, 
the finest in Europe, which Duke Albert left to the 
Archduke Charles. 



From Brussels we went to Spa, where Monsieur 
de Guemene rejoined us. It was at Spa that I en- 
joyed for the first time the dangerous poison of 
praise and success. The days that there were dances 
at the Assembly Room, my mother took me there, 
and the dancing of the petite jranqaise soon became 
one of the curiosities of Spa. 

The Comte and Comtesse du Nord had just ar- 
rived from the interior of Russia, and they had 
never seen a girl of twelve years dance the gavotte 
and the minuet. This same princess later became the 
second wife of the Emperor Paul the First of Russia, 
and thirty-seven years later, when she met me again 
as a grave mother of a family, she had not forgotten 
the little girl of other days. At that time she said 
many pleasant things regarding the recollections 
which she had preserved of my grace and, above all, 
of my beautiful figure. 

However, the waters of Spa shortened the days of 
my poor mother. Nevertheless, she disliked to return 
to Hautefontaine, as she was certain that she would 
be greeted there by my grandmother, as usual, with 
scenes of ill-nature. But my mother had the thought, 
common to all those who are attacked by this cruel 
malady of the chest, that she should have a change 
of air. She wished to go to Italy, and asked first to 
return to Paris. My grandmother consented, and 
then for the first time fully realized the unfortunate 
state of her daughter. 

On our arrival at Paris, my grandmother gave my 
mother her own apartment, as it was the largest in 



the house. During her last moments my mother was 
well cared for. The Queen came to see her, and every 
day a groom or a page was sent from Versailles to 
inquire regarding her. She grew feebler from day to 
day. In writing these lines, after forty-five years, I 
still have a feeling of regret that nobody spoke of the 
sacraments of the Church, or thought of sending for 
a priest. In this house of an Archbishop there was 
not even a chaplain. My mother did not realize 
that the end was so near. The yth of September, 
1782, she died in the arms of my maid. 

A good old friend of my mother's, Mme. Nagle, 
brought me the sad news. In the morning I awoke 
to find her beside my bed. She told me that my grand- 
mother had left the house, and that I should get up 
and follow her, and ask for her protection and care; 
that now I depended on her for my future. She said 
that my grandmother was on bad terms with my 
father, who was then in America, and that she might 
disinherit me. My young heart, which was nearly 
broken, revolted at the idea of this dissimulation, 
and the good lady had much trouble in persuading 
me to allow her to take me to my grandmother. At 
last I consented, and, as I expected, my grandmother 
made a great scene of despair, which produced a most 
painful impression upon me. 

After the death of my mother, my grandmother 
and my uncle went in the month of October, 1782, 
to Hautefontaine and took me with them, as well as 
my instructor Monsieur Combes, who occupied him- 
self exclusively with my education. 


I was very fond of this chateau, which I knew 
would one day belong to me. It was a beautiful 
estate, all en domaines, about twenty-two leagues from 
Paris, between Villers-Cotterets and Soissons. The 
chateau, built towards the beginning of the previous 
century, was situated upon a very steep hill. It over- 
looked a fertile little valley, or rather gorge, opening 
out upon the forest of Compiegne, which formed an 
amphitheatre at the back of the picture. Prairies, 
woods, ponds of clear water filled with fish, were 
situated beyond a fine kitchen garden, which you 
overlooked from the windows of the chateau. The 
chateau itself, although it had no architectural 
beauty, was convenient, vast, perfectly furnished and 
well cared for in every detail. 

My uncle, my grandmother and my mother had 
accompanied my father as far as Brest when he em- 
barked in 1779 for the war in the Antilles. On his 
return my uncle bought at Lorient the whole cargo 
of a vessel just arrived from India, consisting of 
Chinese and Japanese porcelains, and Persian cloth 
of all colors for the hangings of our apartments. All 
these riches were unpacked, to my great joy, and 
arranged in the large garde-meubles, where the old 
concierge let me roam with my maid when the 
weather did not permit me to go out. 

During the life of my mother the residence at 
Hautefontaine had been very brilliant, but after her 
death all this was completely changed. My grand- 
mother had taken possession, in the absence of my 
father, of all of my mother's papers, and of all of the 
correspondence which she had preserved. The fortune 


of my grandfather had run through her hands, and 
all of our investments had changed in nature during 
the minority of my mother. She was only fifteen 
years of age when she lost her father, General de 
Rothe, who died suddenly at Hautefontaine, only a 
short time after purchasing this property. He had 
bought the chateau in the name of his wife, under the 
pretext that it was paid for exclusively with the 
funds 10,000 pounds sterling given as a dot to 
my grandmother by her father, Lord Falkland. 

My grandfather had inherited the fortune of his 
mother, Lady Catherine de Rothe, and also that of 
his aunt, the Duchess of Perth, both daughters of 
Lord Middleton, Minister of James II. Another 
relative had left him, at Paris, the house in which 
we lived, Rue du Bac, and 4,000 livres of rentes upon 
the Hotel de Ville of Paris. These two investments 
were the only ones which remained at the death of 
Monsieur de Rothe, when my mother came into 

My great-uncle, the Archbishop, had lived in the 
house in the Rue du Bac for twenty years without 
paying a sou of rent to his niece and without even 
paying for the repairs. When he left the house after 
the death of my mother and leased another, he 
borrowed 40,000 francs on mortgage and used the 
money for repairs which were urgently necessary. I 
did not know anything about this debt, which I was 
obliged to pay myself when I sold the house in 1797. 
At the death of my mother, all that I received was 
this house in the Rue du Bac, which was leased for 
10 ooo francs to the Baron de Stae'l, who afterwards 



married the celebrated Mile. Necker, and the 4,000 
francs of income spoken of above. I had no expecta- 
tions from my father. He had already spent the 
portion of 10,000 pounds sterling which he had in- 
herited with the Dillon Regiment, of which he was 
proprietaire-ne, as heir of his uncles James and 
Edward, who were killed within two years of each 

Towards the end of the autumn of 1782, my uncle 
set out as usual for Montpellier to preside over the 
States of Languedoc. As Archbishop of Narbonne, 
he had this prerogative, which he exercised over the 
period of twenty-eight years. 

My grandmother and I remained at Hautefontaine, 
where we were very lonely. When my grandmother 
found herself alone at Hautefontaine, in that grand 
chateau formerly so animated and brilliant; when she 
saw the empty stables ; when she no longer heard the 
baying of the hounds and the horns of the hunters, 
she became desirous of changing her mode of life 
and of persuading the Archbishop to do the same. 

When the Archbishop returned from Montpellier, 
where he had remained only the time absolutely 
necessary for the meeting of the States, we went to 
meet him at Paris. My father at that time was 
Governor of the island of Saint-Christophe, which he 
had captured during the expedition in which his regi- 
ment had gloriously contributed to the success of the 
French forces. In his absence my guardians repre- 
sented to my great-uncle that he should no longer 
continue to live in my house without paying any 
rent or even looking after the repairs. He therefore 


made up his mind to leave the house, and, as already 
stated, borrowed on mortgage the funds necessary 
for the repairs. 

About this same time my grandmother, who was 
tired of Hautefontaine, bought, for 52,000 francs, a 
house at Montfermeil, near Livry, about five leagues 
from Paris. The price was very moderate, for the 
land comprised ninety acres. The house, which was 
in a charming situation, was named Folie-Joyeuse. It 
had been built by a Monsieur de Joyeuse, who had 
begun the construction where one ordinarily leaves 
off. After having laid out a fine court, enclosed by a 
railing, he built, at the right and left, two wings 
terminated by two handsome square pavilions. He 
had then found himself short of the money necessary 
to build the body of the house, so that the only 
communication between the two pavilions was by a 
corridor at least one hundred feet long. His creditors 
had then seized the house. The park was beautiful, 
surrounded by walls, with every path terminating 
at a gate, and all the outlets opening on the forest 
of Bondy, which was charming in this locality. 

f The furniture was brought from Hautefontaine, 
and in the spring of 1783 we were quite well estab- 
lished at Folie-Joyeuse. The first year no repairs 
were made, but we passed the summer in laying out 
plans with architects and decorators, which interested 
me very much. 




Annual Trips of Mile. Dillon to Languedoc. Method of 
Travel at That Epoch. The Route to Languedoc. 
Nimes and Montpellier. Etiquette at Dinners. Society 
at Montpellier. Return of Monsieur Dillon to France. 
He Weds Mme. de La Touche. He Takes the Government 
of Tabago. First Plans for the Marriage of Mile. Dillon. > 
Sojourn at Bordeaux. Another Dillon Family. The Comte 
de La Tour du Pin and His Son, the Comte de Gouvernet. 

IN the month of November, 1783, I learned that 
my grandmother would accompany my uncle, 
the Archbishop, to the meeting of the States of 
Languedoc. This news caused me great joy. At this 
time the annual session of the States was a very 
brilliant occasion. Peace had just been concluded, and 
the English, deprived for three years of the possi- 
bility of travelling on the Continent, came over in 
crowds, as they did later in 1814. At that time people 
did not travel so much in Italy. The fine roads by 
Mt. Cenis and the Simplon, and the magnificent 
route by the Corniche, constructed during the reign 
of Napoleon, were not then in existence. The climate 
of the south of France, especially that of Languedoc 
and Montpellier, was very attractive. 

The thought of this journey, practically the first 
I had ever taken, filled me with joy. I will relate 


here once for all how we made the trip to Mont- 
pellier, as we went there every year until 1786 when 
I made my last visit. 

We set out in a large berline with six horses. My 
uncle and my grandmother were seated in the back, 
with myself and the secretary of my uncle facing 
them, and two domestics upon the box seat in front. 
The second berline, also with six horses, carried our 
two maids and two valets, with two servants upon 
the box seat. A chaise de poste brought the maitre 
d'hotel and the chef. There were also three couriers, 
one of whom went a half-hour ahead, while the other 
two accompanied the carriages. Monsieur Combes, 
my instructor, left several days before us by diligence. 

Every year the Ministers kept my great-uncle so 
long at Versailles that he had hardly sufficient time 
to arrive at Montpellier by the day fixed for the 
opening of the States. The session could not com- 
mence until the Archbishop of Narbonne, who was 
President, ex officio, was present. 

The delay caused by the Ministers obliged us to 
travel as fast as possible a very disagreeable ne- 
cessity at this advanced season of the year. As we 
needed eighteen horses, the order of the Administra- 
tion des Posies preceded us by several days, in order 
that the horses might be ready. We made very long 
daily trips. Setting out at four o'clock in the morn- 
ing, we stopped only for dinner. The chaise de poste 
and the first courier had preceded us by an hour. 
This arrangement permitted us to find the table 
ready, the fires lighted, and several good dishes 
prepared by our chef when we arrived. The chef 



carried with him from Paris, in his carriage, bottles 
of soup and sauces all prepared, and everything that 
was necessary to make palatable the bad meals 
which we found at the hotels. As soon as we arrived, 
the chaise de poste and the first courier set out, so 
that when we halted for the night we found every- 
thing ready for us the same as at noon. 

At that time the route, which followed the course 
of the Rhone as far as Pont-Saint-Esprit, was in such 
bad order that you ran the risk of being overturned 
at every moment. 

At La Palud we entered the territory of the Comte 
Venaissin, which belonged to the Pope. It gave me 
great pleasure to see the guide-post upon which was 
painted the tiara and the keys. I felt as though we 
were entering Italy. We left the highway to Marseille 
and followed an excellent road, which the Papal 
Government had permitted the States of Languedoc 
to construct, and which led directly to Pont-Saint- 

At La Palud my uncle changed his costume. He 
put on a wadded costume of violet cloth, lined with 
silk of the same color; silk stockings, also violet in 
color; shoes with gold buckles; his cordon bleu, and 
a three-cornered priest's hat ornamented with gold 

As soon as the carriage had passed the last arch 
of the bridge at Pont-Saint-Esprit, the cannon of the 
little citadel at this bridge-head fired twenty-one 
shots. The drums beat a salute, the garrison came 
out, the officers in full dress, and all the civil and 



religious authorities presented themselves at the door 
of the berline. If it was not raining, my uncle de- 
scended while they attached the eight horses destined 
for his carriage. 

He listened to the harangues which they addressed 
to him, and replied with affability and incomparable 
grace. He was very tall, with a noble face, and a 
voice and air at the same time gracious and assured. 
He asked for information regarding everything which 
might interest the inhabitants; listened to the peti- 
tions which were addressed to him ; and the following 
year he still remembered the requests which had 
been made of him the preceding year. All this lasted 
about a quarter of an hour, after which we set out 
like the wind, for not only had the postilions been 
doubled, but the honor of conducting the carriage of 
so great a personage was warmly appreciated. 

In the eyes of the inhabitants of Languedoc the 
President of the States was a much greater man than 
the King. My uncle was extremely popular. Although 
he was very haughty, his arrogance was never shown 
except to those who were, or who thought they were, 
his superiors. 

We spent the night at Nimes, where my uncle 
always had business. One year we spent several days 
with the Archbishop, which gave me the time to see 
the antiquities, although the monuments were not 
as well cared for as at present. They had just com- 
menced to clear up the Arenes and had brought to 
light several new inscriptions. 

Finally we arrived at Montpellier. After having 
travelled 1 60 leagues of detestable roads, after having 



crossed torrents without bridges, where you ran the 
risk of your life, at last we arrived at a route as fine 
as that of a well-kept estate. We crossed superb 
bridges perfectly constructed. We traversed cities 
flourishing with industry and a country which was 
well cultivated. The contrast was very striking. 

The house in which we lived at Montpellier was 
large and beautiful but very dismal. It was situated 
in a narrow and sombre street. My uncle rented it 
all furnished. The apartment which he occupied on 
the first floor contained very fine Turkish rugs, which 
were common in Languedoc at that time. The house 
surrounded the four sides of a square court, one side 
of which was taken up by the large dining-room, 
another by a salon of the same dimensions, with six 
windows, which was hung and furnished in fine 
crimson damask, with an immense chimney of very 
ancient design, which to-day would be much admired. 

My grandmother and I occupied the lower floor, 
which was dark even at three o'clock in the afternoon. 
We never saw my uncle in the morning. We took 
breakfast at nine o'clock, after which I went out 
for a walk with my English maid. At three o'clock 
precisely, it was necessary to be dressed and ready 
for dinner. We ascended to the salon where we found 
fifty guests assembled every day except Friday. 
Saturday my uncle always dined abroad, either with 
the Bishop or with some great personage of the 
States. There were never any ladies present at dinner, 
except my grandmother and myself. Between us 
were placed the guests most highly regarded. When 
there were any strangers, especially English, they 



were seated at my side. At that time every person 
who had a presentable domestic was served by him 
at table. Neither carafes nor glasses were placed upon 
the table. At the large dinners, there were placed 
upon the buffet silver buckets containing bottles of 
wine and a glass-stand with a dozen glasses, and any 
one who wished a glass of wine of any kind sent his 
servant to obtain it. 

I had a servant attached to my person who was 
at the same time my coiffeur. He wore my livery, 
which we were obliged to have in red, although in 
England it was blue, because our stripes were exactly 
the same as those of the House of Bourbon. If our 
costumes had been blue, our livery would have been 
exactly the same as the King's, which was not allowed. 

After dinner, which never lasted more than one 
hour, we returned to the salon which was filled with 
members of the States who had come for coffee. No- 
body sat down, and at the end of a half-hour my 
grandmother and I descended to our apartment. 
We then frequently went out to make visits in a 
chaise a porteurs, which was the only means of trans- 
portation used in the streets of Montpellier. The fine 
quarter of the city, which has been built since, was 
not in existence at that epoch. 

On our arrival at Paris, at the beginning of 1784, 
my father had returned from America. He had been 
Governor of Saint-Christophe until peace had been 
declared. After having surrendered the island to the 
English, he had made a visit tq Martinique, where he 
became strongly attached to the Comtesse de La 



Touche, who was the widow, at thirty years, of an 
officer of the Navy who had left her two children 
a boy and a girl. She was very agreeable and very 
rich. Her mother, Mme. de Girardin, was a sister of 
Mme. de La Pagerie, the mother of Josephine, later 
Empress of the French. At this time she had recently 
married her daughter to Vicomte de Beauharnais, 
who had taken her with him to France. Mme. de La 
Touche had made her plans to go to France with her 
two children, Alexandre and Betsy, who was later 
Duchesse de Fitz-James. My father followed them to 
France, and at this time people began to talk of their 
marriage. On hearing the news, my grandmother 
flew into a rage, and nobody could calm her. Never- 
theless, it was very natural that my father should 
wish to marry again, in the hope of having a son. 
He was only thirty-three years of age and was 
proprietaire of one of the finest regiments of the 
army. Conducted to France by his grandfather, 
Arthur Dillon, this regiment had never changed its 
name, like the other regiments of the Irish Brigade. 
Without doubt, it would have been better if he had 
chosen for his new wife the daughter of one of the 
titled Catholic families of England, but he did not 
like the English, and he did love Mme. de La Touche. 
Of a very sweet and amiable character, although 
feeble, she had the careless and easy-going ways of 
the Creoles. 

The marriage took place, in spite of my grand- 
mother, who made a great fuss. My father wished 
to have me presented to my stepmother, but he gave 
up the idea on account of the opposition of my 



grandmother. She declared that if I ever went out 
of the house, even for an hour, to visit Mme. Dillon, 
I should never come back. The only visit that I ever 
made to my stepmother was in 1786, when my father 
left to take the position of Governor of the island of 
Tab ago. 

My father was very much dissatisfied because he 
had not been named Governor of Martinique or of 
Saint-Domingue, as he had acquired the right to de- 
mand one or the other of these two posts. During 
the war he had won the greatest distinction. His 
regiment had carried off the first success of the cam- 
paign by taking by assault the island of Grenade of 
which the Governor, Lord Macartney, was his 
prisoner. He had also powerfully contributed to the 
capture of the islands of Saint-Eustache and Saint- 
Christophe. He was Governor of this last named 
island for two years. When he turned it over to the 
English, at the time of the peace of 1783, the in- 
habitants gave him many evidences of their esteem 
and appreciation, of which the echoes reached even 
to England. My father received the most flattering 
evidences of this feeling at the time of his visit to 
England on his return to Europe. 

My uncle, the Archbishop, dominated and in- 
fluenced by my grandmother, instead of lending his 
support to his nephew to aid him to obtain one of 
these two governorships of Martinique or Saint- 
Domingue, did not assist him in any way. My father, 
therefore, accepted the governorship of Tabago, where 
he resided until he was elected Deputy of Martinique 
to the States-General. He left France accompanied 



by his wife and my little sister Fanny, who later 
became the wife of General Bertrand. He also took 
with him as recorder of the island, my instructor, 
Monsieur Combes. 

Before his departure, my father talked with my 
grandmother of a project which he wished strongly 
to see carried out. He had known at Martinique, 
during the war, a young man who was aide de camp 
to the Marquis de Bouille, whom the latter liked 
extremely, and whom my father also highly appreci- 
ated. My grandmother objected, without giving the 
matter much consideration, although the young man 
was of high birth and would be the head of his house, 
under the pretext that he was a mauvais sujet, that 
he had many debts and that he was small and 
homely. I was so young that my father did not 
insist. He sent my uncle, the Archbishop, a procura- 
tion which gave him the power to arrange my mar- 
riage when he judged that the time had arrived. 
However, I often thought of the parti whom my 
father had proposed and searched for information 
regarding the young man. My cousin, Dominique 
Sheldon, brought up by my grandmother, and who 
lived with us, knew him and often spoke to me of 
him. I learned that he had had indeed a very lively 
youth, and I made up my mind no longer to think of 

In 1785 our sojourn in Languedoc was much 
longer than usual. After the session of the States 
we went to pass nearly a month at Alais, with the 
amiable Bishop, who was later Cardinal de Bausset 
of that city. This trip interested me very much. It 



was during this sojourn at Alais that I acquired my 
first love for the mountains. This little city, situated 
in a charming valley, surrounded by a beautiful 
prairie sprinkled with very old chestnut trees, is in 
the midst of the Cevennes. Every day we made 
some excursions which were really charming. The 
young people of the country had formed a mounted 
guard of honor for my uncle. They had adopted the 
English uniform of the Dillons, red with yellow 
facings. They all belonged to the best families of the 

To my great regret we set out to pass two months 
at Narbonne, where I had never been. As I liked to be 
informed regarding all matters of interest in the 
places which I visited, I began to look up the histories 
of Narbonne from the time of Caesar to that of 
Cardinal de Richelieu, who had formerly occupied the 
archiepiscopal chateau, which was similar to a strong- 
hold of the middle ages. 

From Narbonne, we went to Toulouse, by way of 
Saint-Papoul, where we remained several days. 
From there we went to Bordeaux, where we made a 
visit of seventeen days with the Archbishop. 

I cannot say why Bordeaux interested me more 
than the other cities which we had visited. Here we 
saw Mme. Dillon, mother of all those Dillons who 
have always pretended, but wrongly, to be our 
relatives. This lady, who was of a good English 
family, had married an Irish merchant named Dil- 
lon, whose ancestors had probably come from that 
part of Ireland named, until the reign of Queen 



Elizabeth, "Dillon's country," where a great number 
of the inhabitants, the same as in Scotland, took the 
name of their lord. However this may be, this Dillon 
had no success in business, and, having raised a 
certain sum of money, came to establish himself at 
Bordeaux, where he entered into commerce. His wife 
was a woman of extraordinary beauty, well known 
throughout the province. Her husband died leaving 
her with twelve children and with very little fortune, 
but possessed of great charms and much courage. 
Marechal de Richelieu befriended her and recom- 
mended her to my uncle at the time of one of his trips 
to Bordeaux. My uncle promised to look after her 
children and kept his word. The three eldest, who 
were rather beautiful girls, made very favorable 
marriages. The nine sons, who were without excep- 
tion fine fellows, all had most honorable careers. 
At Bordeaux, several days before my departure, my 
servant when dressing my hair asked my permission 
to go that evening to a chateau situated at a short 
distance, to see some old comrades. He rejoined our 
carriages at the passage of the Dordogne, at Cubzac, 
not far from the chateau which he had visited. I 
asked the name of the place, and he told me it was 
called Le Bouilh, and that it belonged to the Comte 
de La Tour du Pin. His son was the young man 
whom my father had wished me to marry and whom 
my grandmother had refused. I asked my servant 
regarding the position of the chateau and learned 
with regret that it could not be seen from the high- 
way. I was very much interested in crossing the river 
at Cubzac to learn that the land around belonged 



to Monsieur de La Tour du Pin, and I said to myself 
that perhaps I might some day be the lady of all 
this fine country. I took good care, however, not to 
communicate these reflections to my grandmother, 
who would not have received them with pleasure. 
Nevertheless, they remained in the back of my head. 




New Marriage Plans. The Marquis Adrien de Laval. 
Fortune of Mile. Dillon. Regiments of the Irish Brigade. 
Portrait of Mile. Dillon. Marechal de Biron. 
Rupture with Monsieur Adrien de Laval. The Vicomte 
de Fleury. M. Esperance de L'Aigle. The Comte de 
Gouvernet. Decision of Mile. Dillon. 

A~^ the time of our return to Paris I was six- 
teen years of age, and my grandmother in- 
formed me that she was trying to arrange 
a marriage for me with the Marquis Adrien de Laval. 
He had just become the head of his family by the 
death of his brother, who left a widow twenty years 
of age, but no children. The Duchesse de Laval, the 
mother of Adrien, had been a great friend of my 
mother's. She was very desirous of seeing this mar- 
riage brought about, and it was equally agreeable to 
me. The name of Laval-Montmorency sounded very 
agreeably in my aristocratic ears. Young Laval had 
left the Seminaire to enter the Army at the death 
of his brother. Our fathers were also closely associ- 
ated, but the principal reason which led me to wish 
this marriage was that I would be able to leave the 
house of my grandmother. I was no longer a child. 
My education had commenced at so early an age 
that at sixteen I was as old as other girls at twenty- 


five. With my grandmother I led a wretched life. 
I was very miserable and ardently desired to end 
this unhappy position. Nevertheless, being in the 
habit of reflecting upon my fate, I had resolved 
never to accept, out of spite, a marriage which 
would not be en rapport with my situation in the 

I was considered to be the sole heir of my grand- 
mother, who had the reputation of being rich, and 
was so in reality. The fine estate of Hautefontaine, 
situated about twenty-two leagues from Paris, with a 
revenue of 50,000 francs from the farms, without 
counting the woods, the lakes and the fields ; a pretty 
house which she had just purchased about five leagues 
from Paris, and where my uncle was making ex- 
tensive repairs; with rentes upon the Hotel de Ville 
of Paris which she should give me at the time of my 
marriage ; an immense amount of personal property 
all this was assured to me, since my grandmother was 
sixty years of age when I was sixteen. 

Who would ever have suspected that my uncle, 
with over 400,000 francs of income, was in financial 
difficulties and had persuaded my grandmother to 
borrow, in order to come to his rescue? All the men 
who wished to marry me were blinded by these fine 
appearances. It was also known that, at the time of 
my marriage, I would have the position of Dame du 
Palais of the Queen. This, at that time, weighed 
heavily in the balance in the grand monde. Eire a la 
Cour sounded very fine. The Dames du Palais were 
only twelve in number. My mother had been one, 
because the Queen personally loved her tenderly; 




because she was the daughter-in-law of a Peer of 
England and the granddaughter of another, Lord 
Falkland ; finally, because my father, a distinguished 
officer, was counted among the very few who could 
become Marshals of France. 

Of the three regiments of the Irish Brigade, Dillon 
and Berwick were the only ones which had preserved 
their names. I remember that when Monsieur Walsh 
was named Colonel of the regiment which took his 
name, Monsieur de Fitz-James and my father showed 
a great deal of discontent, on the pretext that he did 
not belong to any great Irish or English family. The 
Duchesse de Fitz-James Mile, de Thiard was 
Dame du Palais, like my mother, and a woman of 
the same age. But her husband, the third Due de 
Fitz-James, who was the grandson of Marechal de 
Berwick, and the son of the second Due, who had 
also been Marechal de France, enjoyed a very 
mediocre military reputation, while my father had 
greatly distinguished himself during the war which 
had just finished. At the age of twenty-seven he 
had been named Brigadier, a grade since suppressed, 
which represented the rank intermediate between 
the grade of Colonel and that of Lieutenant-General. 

To return to myself. I was then what would be 
called from every point of view a good match, and 
since I am on the subject of my personal advantages, 
I think this is the place to trace my portrait. It will 
not be very attractive on paper, because I owed my 
reputation for beauty only to my figure, my general 
appearance, and not at all to my features. 



I had a mass of light blond hair; small gray eyes, 
with very few eyelashes, most of which I had lost 
through a severe attack of smallpox at the age of 
four; I had thin blond eyebrows; a high forehead, 
and a nose which was said to be Greek, but which 
was long and too large at the end. My finest feature 
was my mouth, with very fresh lips, chiselled like 
those of an antique statue, and beautiful teeth 
which I have preserved intact at the age of seventy- 
one. It was said that my face was agreeable, that I 
had a gracious smile, and, notwithstanding all this, I 
could be considered plain. However, a large and beau- 
tiful figure and a clear and transparent complexion, 
with a great deal of color, gave me a marked superi- 
ority in all gatherings, especially by day, and it was 
certain that I outshone many women apparently 
endowed with superior advantages. 

At the State dinners given frequently by my uncle 
during the summers that we passed at Paris, I 
often saw Marechal de Biron, the last grand seigneur 
of the time of Louis XIV. Although he was eighty- 
five years of age, while I was only fifteen, he had 
taken a great fancy to me. He had me seated at table 
beside him, and had the kindness to talk with me. 
At Paris he had a large and beautiful mansion, now 
that of the Sacre-Coeur, with a splendid garden of 
three or four acres where there were hothouses filled 
with rare plants. It was considered a particular honor 
to be received at his house. One day in speaking with 
my uncle, he said : 

"If I should have the misfortune to lose Mme. la 
Marechale de Biron, I would pray Mile. Dillon to 



take my name and to permit me to put my fortune 
at her feet." 

He never had this misfortune, however, of which 
he would easily have consoled himself. His wife 
survived him and perished upon the scaffold with 
her niece, the Duchesse de Biron. 

The Marechal died in 1787 or 1788 and had a 
magnificent funeral. It was the last splendor of the 

My marriage with Adrien de Laval fell through, 
because the Marechal de Laval, his grandfather, 
chose for his wife Mile, de Luxembourg. He married 
her when he was almost a child and when she herself 
was hardly eighteen years of age. I regretted this on 
account of the name. 

My grandmother then proposed to me the name 
of the Vicomte de Fleury, with whom I did not wish 
to have anything to do. His reputation was bad. He 
had neither esprit nor distinction, and he also be- 
longed to the younger branch of a house without any 
great reputation. I therefore refused him. 

The next candidate was Esperance de L'Aigle, of 
whom I had seen a great deal during our youth. I 
did not think that his name was sufficiently illustrious. 
My decision was perhaps unreasonable, as he was 
really a very good match. We belonged to the same 
circle in society. The estate of his father was situated 
only six or seven leagues from Hautefontaine. All 
these facts were in favor of our union. Nevertheless, 
I refused him. 

Marriages are made in Heaven. I had taken it 
into my head to marry the Comte de Gouvernet, 



notwithstanding the fact that I had never seen him 
and every one spoke badly of him. I knew that he 
was small and plain ; that he gambled and contracted 
debts. Nevertheless, my resolution was made. I told 
my cousin Sheldon that I would marry no one else. 
He attempted, but without success, to reason me out 
of what he called my folly. 

In the month of November, 1789, we were just 
about to set out for Languedoc when one morning 
my grandmother said: 

"This Monsieur de Gouvernet continues to come 
back with his proposals of marriage. Mme. de Mon- 
conseil, his grandmother, is endeavoring to get the 
best of us on all sides; his father is Commandant of a 
province and will be Marshal of France. He is a man 
who enjoys the highest consideration in the Army. 
The Queen herself desires it, for the Princesse d'Henin, 
the daughter of Mme. de Monconseil, has spoken to 
her about it. Therefore think and decide about it." 

To which I replied without hesitation, " I have made 
up my mind. I do not ask for anything better." 

My grandmother was stupefied. She hoped, I 
think, that I would refuse him. She could not con- 
ceive why I should prefer him to Monsieur de L'Aigle. 
In reality, I could not have told why myself. It was 
an instinct, an impulse coming from Heaven. God 
had destined me for him. 

We set out for Montpellier without any further 
talk on the subject of this marriage. One morning 
my grandmother informed me that my uncle had 
received a charming letter from Mme. de Monconseil ; 
that she extremely desired my marriage with her 



grandson for whom she had the warmest affection; 
that she would do everything in her power to bring 
about our union ; but that she was not on good terms 
with her son-in-law, the Comte de La Tour du Pin, 
who did not get on well with his wife and had not 
lived with her for many years. This was the first 
time that I had heard of this family trouble. Although 
they did not live together, they were not legally 
separated, as the family had wished to avoid scandal 
on account of the Princesse d'Henin, the sister of 
Mme. de La Four du Pin, and also on account of her 
daughter, the Marquise de Lameth. 

The Marquise de Monconseil was then eighty-five 
years of age, but was still considered beautiful. Her 
husband, who was an officer, like nearly all the 
gentlemen of that epoch, had married her very 
young. He had been a page of Louis XIV and had 
had a very lively and dissipated youth. He had 
served in all the wars at the end of the reign of 
Louis XIV and in those of Louis XV. 

At the age of forty, Monsieur de Monconseil left 
the service and retired to his estate of Tesson in 
Saintonge. Here he spent most of his life until his 
death at the age of ninety. He had a fine house at 
Saintes, where he passed three months during the 
winter. The rest of the year he lived at Tesson where 
he himself had laid out and planted the park and 
gardens. Occasionally, he went to Paris to see his 
wife, who had a very fine mansion. He was very 
fond of his grandson, who frequently visited him at 




Convocation of the Notables. Return to Paris. Death of 
Mme. de Monconseil. Monsieur de Gourvernet's Marriage 
Proposal Accepted. Visit of Mme. d'Henin. Signature 
of the Contract. Toilette the Day of the Fian^ailles. 
Politeness at this Epoch. The Four Lameth Brothers. 
The Marriage Contract. The Comte and Comtesse de 
La Tour du Pin. A Visit to the Queen. At Montfermeil. 
The Trousseau and the Corbeille. 


last trip which I made to Montpellier, 
during the winter of 1786 and 1787, was to 
me the most brilliant of all. Nevertheless, I 
was very desirous of returning to Paris where my 
fate was to be decided. We set out sooner than I 
had expected. My uncle had promised this year to 
visit Marseille and Toulon before our return to 
Paris. I was rejoicing at this arrangement, when a 
courier arrived with the news of the convocation of 
the first assembly of the Notables, of which my uncle 
was a member. It was necessary, therefore, to set out 
for Paris the day after the closing of the session of 
the States and to give up our visit to Marseille and 

My uncle, who was not feeling very well, wished to 
spend the night at Fontainebleau, so that he might 
not be too fatigued on his arrival at Paris and be 



able to go the next morning to Versailles. We always 
found our house ready for us, as though we had not 
left it at all. 

The evening of our arrival there were several 
visitors, among whom was a fat German named 
Comte de Bentheim, whose wife was a friend of my 
grandmother's. My uncle at once asked him the news 
of Paris. He replied: "Mme. de Monconseil is dead." 

I turned pale, and my uncle, noticing my agitation, 
said to me in English that this would not in any way 
change our plans. For several days I heard nothing 
except conversation regarding the death of this Mme. 
de Monconseil, of the grief of her daughter, Mme. 
d'Henin, and of her grandson, Monsieur de Gou- 
vernet, who had taken care of her in an admirable 

Monsieur de Gouvernet, in the absence of his 
father, took occasion at once to notify my uncle 
that the loss of his grandmother would in no way 
change his desire for his union with our family. He 
demanded permission of my uncle to go to his father 
and tell him personally that his demand for my hand 
would be satisfactory to me and my family. Upon 
the affirmative response of my great-uncle, he im- 
mediately set out for Bordeaux. Before the week was 
over he had returned from Le Bouilh where he had 
talked with his father and had arranged to have him 
write a letter to make a formal demand for my hand. 
It was settled that he should present himself the 
following morning at my grandmother's house, but 
that he was not to see me until after the articles were 
signed, which was the usage at that time. 



This memorable morning I hid myself behind a 
curtain and saw Monsieur de Gouvernet descend 
from his carriage and enter the house. He remained 
a quarter of an hour, and it was arranged that the 
articles should be signed as soon as they could be 
drawn up by the notary. 

The arrangements were not terminated before the 
end of the week, and in the meantime Mme. d'Henin 
paid a visit to my grandmother. She asked to see me, 
as I had expected. I was so much afraid of this 
grande dame, so elegant and imposing, who was 
going to examine me from head to foot, that I could 
hardly control myself on entering the room. She took 
my hand and kissed me and then exclaimed: "Ah! 
la belle taille! Elle est charmante. Mon neveu est 
bien heureux!" 

This visit took place, I think, the eve of the day 
on which the articles were to be signed. It was not 
customary for the young lady to be present at the 
reading of the articles, but as soon as this was over, 
I was sent for. I was placed beside Mme. d'Henin 
and my aunt Lady Jerningham, who took pity on 
my embarrassment. 

My toilette was very simple. I had requested my 
grandmother to let me order it myself. At that time 
the gowns which were worn were laced behind and 
plainly indicated the figure. They were therefore 
called "sheaths" (jourreaux). My robe was of white 
gauze, without any ornaments, with a sash of dark 
blue ribbon with fringed ends of brilliant English 

From this time on, Monsieur de Gouvernet came 



every day for dinner or supper, either at Paris or at 
Versailles, where my uncle was established since the 
commencement of the meeting of the Notables. 

My grandmother and I remained at Paris, but 
every day at one-thirty we set out for Versailles 
where we arrived for dinner at three o'clock. 

Monsieur de Gouvernet had presented to my uncle 
his brother-in-law, the Marquis de Lameth, and two 
brothers of the latter, Charles and Alexandre. The 
fourth brother, Theodore, whom I knew later, was 
not there at the time. 

Finally the meeting of the Notables ended, and my 
uncle returned to Paris, where the day of the signa- 
ture of the contract was arranged for the first of 
May. I do not now recall the details of my toilette, 
but I think that it must have been rose or blue, for 
the white robe was reserved for the day of marriage. 

A few days previously I had made the acquaint- 
ance of my future father-in-law, the Comte de La 
Tour du Pin. He was a little man but very erect, 
very well built and had been handsome in his youth. 
He had admirable teeth, fine eyes, an air of assurance 
and a charming smile. He had served during the 
Seven Years' War as Colonel of the Regiment called 
les Grenadiers de France, which was composed of the 
elite of all the other regiments. 

The Queen, who approved of my marriage, ex- 
pressed the desire to see me and asked my uncle to 
bring me to her, together with Mme. d'Henin. The 
day of my visit at Versailles I found myself in the 
presence of the Queen without really knowing how 



I got there. She kissed me and I kissed her hand. 
She made me sit down beside her and asked me a 
thousand questions regarding my education and so 
on, but I was too embarrassed to reply. Finally, tak- 
ing pity upon my diffidence, the Queen talked with 
my uncle and Mme. d'Henin. I am afraid that my 
timidity made an unfavorable impression on the 
Queen, which was perhaps never effaced. 

We went to Montfermeil about the eighth or 
tenth of the month of May, 1787. As it was not the 
etiquette of the time for the futur to sleep under the 
same roof with the young lady whom he was to 
marry, Monsieur de Gouvernet came every day from 
Paris for dinner and remained until after supper. 

In the vast wardrobes had been brought together 
the fine trousseau which my grandmother had given 
me, the price of which exceeded 45,0x30 francs. It 
was composed of linens, laces, and muslin dresses. 
There was not a single silk dress. The corbeille, which 
had been given me by Monsieur de Gouvernet, com- 
prised jewels, ribbons, flowers, feathers and so on. 

The present of Mme. d'Henin was a charming tea 
service of silver gilt, complete in every respect, with 
Sevres porcelain. I think that this gave me more 
pleasure than anything else. My grandfather, Vis- 
count Dillon, sent me a pair of ear-rings which cost 
10,000 francs. I had also received from Monsieur de 
Gouvernet a fine collection of English and Italian 
books; also of English engravings, for which I was 
very grateful. 



A Marriage in High Society at the End of the i8th Century. 
The Nuptial Benediction. The Marriage Souvenirs. 
Toilette of the Bride. Presentation to the Queen. 
Rehearsal with the Maitre a Danser. The Presentation 
Toilette. The Sunday Court. Portrait of the King. 
The Art of Walking at Versailles. The Mass. The 
Royal Dinner. 

I WOULD like to have the power of depicting the 
manners of the times of my youth, of which 
many details have escaped my memory, and the 
occasion of this marriage in high society, at which 
figured so many personages, men and women. 

The day of my marriage everybody was present 
in the salon at noon. The company was composed, 
on my side, of my grandmother, Mme. de Rothe, 
my great-uncle, the Archbishop of Narbonne, my 
aunt, Lady Jerningham, her husband, Sir William 
Jerningham, their daughter and eldest son, who was 
afterwards Lord Stafford; also of the Messieurs 
Sheldon, and their elder brother Monsieur Constable, 
my first witness, and the Chevalier Jerningham, 
brother of Sir William Jerningham, who was a friend 
of my mother and of myself, my second witness. 
This was all of my family. The guests included all 
the Ministers, the Archbishops of Paris and Toulouse, 



Monsieur de Lally-Tollendal, of whom I shall speak 
later, and several other persons whose names escape 

The Comte de Gouvernet was born in Paris, Rue 
de Varenne, at the hotel of his parents, the 6 January 
1759. At the age of sixteen years he entered the 
military service as a Second Lieutenant of Artillery, 
and two years later was promoted to be Captain of 
Cavalry. In 1779 he was appointed aide de camp of 
the Marquis de Bouille, Governor of the Antilles, 
and served under his orders during the last three 
years of the war in America. During his absence he 
was promoted to be Colonel en Second of the Royal- 
Comtois-Infanterie, and was still serving with this 
regiment at the time of our marriage, 21 May 1787. 

The family of Monsieur de Gouvernet was com- 
posed of his father and mother; of his uncle, TAbbe 
de Gouvernet ; of his sister, the Marquise de Lameth ; 
of her husband and his three brothers, Charles, 
Alexandre and Theodore de Lameth; also of Mme. 
d'Henin, his aunt, and of a number of other persons 
fifty or sixty in all. 

In going to the chapel, we passed through the 
court. I walked first, giving my hand to my cousin, 
young Jerningham. My grandmother followed with 
Monsieur de Gouvernet, and the rest in order. At 
the altar we found my uncle and the Archbishop of 
Paris. After a low mass which was said by the Cure 
of Montfermeil, my uncle gave us the nuptial bene- 
diction after having pronounced a very fine discourse. 

All the ladies then embraced me in the order of 
relationship and age. After this a valet de chambre 



brought a large basket containing the wedding 
souvenirs, consisting of sword-knots for the men, 
costing from twenty-five to thirty francs each, and 
of fans for the ladies, of different prices from twenty- 
five to one hundred francs. This custom was very 

Let us not forget the toilette of the bride, which 
was very simple. I had a dress of white crepe, trimmed 
with Brussels lace. As veils were not then in vogue, 
I wore pinners, that is to say, a head-dress having 
long flaps hanging down the sides of my cheeks. I 
had a sprig of orange blossoms on my head and a 
bouquet at my side. For the dinner, which was not 
served until four o'clock, I put on a pretty toque, 
with white plumes, to which was attached the sprig 
of orange blossoms. In the evening a fine concert 
ended the day. 

The following day the greater part of the guests 
left us. I was married on Monday, and the next day 
Mme. d'Henin informed me of the desire of the 
Queen that my presentation should take place the 
Sunday following. Mme. d'Henin added that I ought 
to accompany her to Paris on Thursday morning to 
take two lessons in courtesies (reverences) of my danc- 
ing master; also to try on my presentation costume. 

I therefore set out the following morning for Paris 
in company with my aunt, Mme. d'Henin, and passed 
the two following mornings with Monsieur Huart, 
my dancing master. You cannot imagine anything 
more ridiculous than this rehearsal of the presenta- 
tion. Monsieur Huart, a fat man, admirably coiffe 



and powdered, wearing a full skirt, represented the 
Queen and stood at the end of the salon. He dictated 
to me what I should do, at one moment personifying 
the lady who presented me, the next, returning to 
the place of the Queen in order to indicate the 
moment when, taking off my glove and bending to 
kiss the bottom of her robe, she would make the 
gesture of preventing me from so doing. Nothing 
was forgotten or neglected in this rehearsal, which 
was prolonged over a period of three or four hours. 
My hair was dressed simply, and I wore an ordinary 
morning costume, over which I had put on a court 
dress with a large pannier. It was a regular comedy. 

Sunday morning after the mass my presentation 
took place. I was in full court dress (grand corps'), 
that is to say, with a corsage expressly made, with- 
out shoulder straps, laced in the back, but so narrow 
that the lacings, four fingers wide at the bottom, 
revealed a chemise of the finest batiste. This chemise 
had very short sleeves and no straps, so as to leave 
the shoulders bare. The top of the arm was covered 
with three or four rows of white lace falling to the 
elbow. The neck and shoulders were entirely un- 
covered. Seven or eight strands of large diamonds, 
which the Queen had wished to lend me, partially 
concealed my own. The front of the corsage had the 
appearance of being laced with rows of diamonds. 
I also had a number on my head in the form of an 

Thanks to the good lessons of Monsieur Huart, I 
had no trouble with the three courtesies, and took 
off and put on my glove without too much awkward- 



frequently called the Petits Appartements de la Reine, 
consisting of a boudoir, library and salon. All of 
these rooms were extremely small but remarkable 
for the charm of their decoration. They were lighted 
by small interior courts, on the other side of which 
were the King's Guard Room and his first ante- 

At a few minutes before noon the ladies entered 
the salon which preceded the Queen's bed-chamber. 
No one sat down except a few aged ladies. There 
were always at least forty present and sometimes 
more. Ordinarily, the Princesse de Lamballe, the 
superintendent of the house, arrived and entered 
immediately into the Queen's room, where she was 
making her toilette. The Princesse de Chimay, the 
sister-in-law of my aunt d'Henin, and the Comtesse 
d'Ossun, one a lady of honor and the other lady of 
the bed chamber, also had the entrees. At the end 
of several minutes an usher advanced to the door of 
the chamber and called in a loud voice: "Le service!" 
Then the Dames du Palais for the week, four in 
number, and other young ladies like myself desig- 
nated later on to form part of the service also en- 
tered. As soon as the Queen had said good-morning 
to all in turn, with much grace and kindness, the 
door was opened and everybody entered. 

This audience was prolonged until twenty minutes 
before one. Then the door was opened and the usher 
announced, "The King." The Queen, always dressed 
in court costume, advanced towards him with a 
charming and respectful air. The King nodded to 
right and left, spoke to some ladies whom he knew, 




but never to the young ones. He was so shortsighted 
that he could not recognize any one at three paces. 
He was a fat man of medium height, with high 
shoulders and the worst form that you could imagine. 
He had the air of a peasant, and there was nothing 
lofty or royal in his mien. He was always embarrassed 
by his sword and did not know what to do with his 
hat. His costume, which was very magnificent, was 
highly embroidered, and ornamented with the star 
of the Saint-Esprit in diamonds. He never wore the 
cordon over his costume, except his fete day and the 
days of gala and great ceremony. 

A quarter before one was the time set to go to 
the mass. The King and Queen walked side by side, 
slowly enough to say a word in passing to the numer- 
ous courtiers who lined the Gallery. The Queen often 
spoke to strangers who had been presented to her, 
to artists and to men of letters. Behind came the 
ladies in the order of their rank. 

It was a great art to know how to walk in these 
vast appartements without stepping on the long 
train of the lady who preceded you. You could not 
raise your foot at all, but had to glide it along the 
floor, which was always very slippery, until you had 
passed through the Salon d'Hercule. After this you 
threw the bottom of your robe over one side of your 
pannier, and having caught the eye of your lackey 
who awaited you with a large hassock of red velvet 
trimmed with a golden fringe, you rushed down one of 
the aisles at the right or left of the chapel in the en- 
deavor to obtain a place as near as possible to the 
tribune occupied by the Royal family. Your lackey 



put the hassock before you and you took your 
prayer book, in which you hardly ever read, for, by 
the time you were in your place and had arranged 
the train of your dress and had knelt upon this 
immense hassock, the mass was already half finished. 

As soon as the service was over, the Queen made 
a profound reverence to the King, and then the 
march back began in the same order in which we had 
come. Every one returned to the Queen's chamber 
and chatted while awaiting the dinner hour. At this 
time, during a period of a quarter of an hour, the 
King and Queen received the ladies who had come 
from Paris. We impertinent young things used to 
call these ladies the traineuses, because they had the 
skirts of their court costumes so long that you 
could not see their ankles. 

Dinner was served in the first salon, where a small 
rectangular table was set with two covers, and two 
large green armchairs were placed one beside the 
other, touching, with backs so high as entirely to 
conceal the persons occupying them. The Queen sat 
at the left of the King. They turned their backs to 
the chimney, and before them, at a distance of ten 
feet, was arranged in a circle a line of stools upon 
which were seated the Duchesses, Princesses and 
ladies of high rank who had the privilege of the 
tabouret. Behind them stood the other ladies, facing 
the King and Queen. The King ate with good appe- 
tite, but the Queen did not take off her gloves or 
unfold her serviette, which was a great mistake on 
her part. As soon as the King had drunk, we had the 
privilege of leaving, after having made a courtesy. 



We regained our appartements very much fatigued, 
and remained quietly in our rooms, so as not to dis- 
arrange our coiffures, especially when we had had 
our hair dressed by Leonard, the most famous of 
coiffeurs. The private dinners were served at three 
o'clock which, at this time, was the elegant hour. 

The Minister of War, Marechal de Segur, who had 
been present at my marriage, had given my husband 
a month's leave of absence, so instead of leaving for 
Saint-Omer, where his regiment was in garrison, he 
remained with me at Montfermeil. At the end of the 
month of June it was necessary for him to return to 
his post and I saw him leave with real chagrin. 
About the middle of August he came to pass a week 
at Montfermeil. The Marechal had consented to this 
escapade on condition that he should not go to Paris. 
The Colonels in garrison in Flanders were then 
threatened with the necessity of passing the autumn 
and winter months with their regiments, on account 
of the troubles in Holland, in which it seemed that 
we should be obliged to interfere. But the indecision 
of the King and the feebleness of the Government 
did not permit us to take part, which was a great 
mistake, as it might have turned public opinion 
from the revolutionary ideas which were beginning 
to germinate in the heads of the French people. 



Civil War in Holland. Feebleness of the French Government. 
Mme. de La Tour du Pin at Henencourt. Excursion 
to Lille. Return to Montfermeil. The Loges of the 
Queen at the Theatres. Mme. de La Tour du Pin in 
Society. Mme. de Montesson and the Due d'Orleans. 
Rupture of Mme. de La Tour du Pin with Her Family. 

MY sister-in-law, Mme. de Lameth, for whom 
I had conceived the most tender friend- 
ship, had been kept at Paris by the illness 
of her younger son until the month of October, 1787. 
As the Colonels were still with their regiments and 
not able to return, my sister-in-law proposed to me 
the first of October that I should accompany her to 
the country. My husband could then rejoin us, as 
his regiment was in garrison at Saint-Omer, a short 
distance from Henencourt, between Amiens and 
Arras. The difficulty was to arrange this trip with 
my grandmother, who, in the absence of my husband, 
had again assumed her authority over me. Neither I 
nor my sister-in-law had the courage to make the 
proposition to her. We therefore devised the scheme 
of having the request made by my husband himself. 
On the appointed day the letter arrived, and my 
grandmother, without preamble, brusquely demanded, 


"When are you going to leave?" To which I replied 
trembling that my sister-in-law awaited me. Ac- 
cordingly, we set out together. Our maids were in my 
carriage, Mme. de Lameth, her two children and 
myself, in her carriage. 

I have preserved the most charming recollections 
of this trip. We went to Lille to see the Marquis de 
Lameth, my brother-in-law, who was there with his 
regiment. I had never had so much pleasure as during 
this short journey. With my husband I visited all 
the establishments, military and civil. 

When it was finally decided that France should 
abandon the Holland patriots to their unfortunate 
fate, permission was given the Colonels to return to 
Paris. My husband and I therefore set out for 
Montfermeil, while my sister-in-law remained in 
the country until the beginning of winter. 

Soon after my return my uncle and grandmother 
left for Montpellier. It had been arranged that dur- 
ing the absence of my relatives we should live with 
our aunt, Mme. d'Henin. As she was to introduce 
me to society, this arrangement was agreeable and 
convenient. It was not then customary for a young 
lady to appear alone in public the first year of her 
marriage. When she went out in the morning to pay 
visits or shop, she always took a maid with her in 
her carriage. Certain old dames carried this rigorism 
so far as to blame those who went out even with 
their husbands for a promenade in the Champs- 
Elysees or the Tuileries gardens, and thought in such 
cases they should be followed by a lackey in livery. 



My husband considered this custom insupportable, 
and we never submitted to this etiquette. 

Once established with my aunt, we found our- 
selves much happier and more tranquil than with 
my grandmother. Nearly every evening we went to 
the theatre, where the performances then ended early 
enough to permit our going to supper afterwards. 
My aunt and I had permission to occupy the Queen's 
boxes. This was a favor which was accorded to only 
six or eight of the youngest ladies of the Palace. She 
had a loge at the Opera, at the Comedie-Francaise 
and at the theatre then called the Comedie-Italienne 
where opera-comique was given in French. We had 
only to read the daily papers to make our choice 
between the different theatres. 

These stage boxes were furnished like elegant 
salons. Every box had a large antechamber, well 
heated and lighted; and a private staircase com- 
municated with the antechamber where the servants 
remained. At the entrance was a porter in the King's 
livery. You never had to wait a moment for your 
carriage. Generally we went to the Comedie-Italienne 
for the first piece, which was always the best, and to 
the Opera for the ballet. 

Since I am now established with my aunt, this is 
the moment to speak of the society in which she 
moved, which was the most elegant and the most 
highly considered in Paris, and by which I was adopted 
the first year that I was out. This clique was com- 
posed of four very distinguished ladies, joined to- 
gether from their youth by a friendship which in 
their eyes represented a sort of religion, and which 



was perhaps the only one that they possessed ! These 
four ladies, very highly esteemed on account of their 
rank in the world, were, besides Mme. d'Henin, the 
Princesse de Poix, the Duchesse de Biron and the 
Princesse de Bouillon. 

At the time of my marriage, my aunt, Mme. 
d'Henin, was thirty-eight years of age. She had 
espoused, at the age of fifteen, the Prince d'Henin, 
younger brother of the Prince de Chimay, who was 
only seventeen. They were admired as the hand- 
somest couple who had ever appeared at court. The 
second year of her marriage Mme. d'Henin had an 
attack of smallpox, and this malady, which they 
did not then know how to treat properly, left upon 
her face an eruption which was never cured. How- 
ever, she was still very beautiful when I knew her, 
with fine hair, charming eyes, teeth like pearls, a 
superb figure and a very noble air. Until the death 
of her mother she resided with her. Monsieur 
d'Henin had an apartment in the house of Mme. de 
Monconseil, but although he was not judicially 
separated from his wife, he nevertheless resided apart 
with an actress of the Comedie-Francaise, who was 
ruining him. The Court justified by its indifference 
these kinds of liaisons. It was laughed at as the 
most simple thing in the world. 

At that time the ladies of high society were marked 
by the audacity with which they made a parade of 
their love affairs. These intrigues were known almost 
as soon as formed, and when they were durable, they 
acquired a sort of consideration. In the society of 
les princesses combinees, as they were called, there 



were exceptions however to these blamable customs. 
Mme. de Poix, who was deformed, lame, and crippled 
a great part of the year, had never been accused of 
any intrigues. When I first knew her, she still had a 
charming face, although forty years of age. She was 
the most amiable person in the world. 

Mme. de Lauzun, who was later Duchesse de 
Biron, after the death of my respectful admirer, the 
Marechal of that name, was an angel of kindness and 
goodness. After the death of the Marechale de 
Luxembourg, her grandmother, with whom she had 
lived, and who kept the finest house in Paris, she 
had bought a hotel, Rue de Bourbon, looking out 
on the river. This she had arranged with simple 
elegance, in harmony with her handsome fortune 
and the modesty of her character. She lived here 
alone, for her husband, following the example of 
Monsieur d'Henin, passed his time with an actress 
of the Comedie-Fran^aise. Since the death of his 
mother, whose happy influence had kept him in 
good company, he had mixed with the habitues of 
the Due d'Orleans (Egatitt), who corrupted all who 
approached him. 

The Duchesse de Lauzun had a very curious library, 
with many manuscripts of Rousseau, among others 
that of "La Nouvelle Heloise," entirely written in 
his own hand; also a quantity of letters and notes 
which he had written to Mme. de Luxembourg. 

The Princesse de Bouillon had married, when very 
young, the last Due de Bouillon, who was an imbecile 
and a cripple. She lived with him in the Hotel de 
Bouillon upon the Quai Malaquais. He was never 



seen, because he remained always in his apartment 
with the persons who looked after him. During the 
summer he went to his place at Navarre, the fine 
estate which later belonged to the Empress Josephine. 
But I think that Mme. de Bouillon never went there. 

She was a person of great spirit and charm and, 
I think, was the most distinguished of my acquaint- 
ances. At no time could she have been pretty. She 
was exceedingly thin, almost a skeleton, with a flat 
German face, retrousse nose, wretched teeth and yel- 
low hair. With all this, she had so much esprit, such 
original ideas, and her conversation was so amusing 
that she attracted and enchanted everybody. Her kind- 
ness to me was very great and I was quite proud of it. 

Nevertheless this homely and spirituelle Princesse 
had had one or several lovers. She was bringing up a 
little girl who, in a striking manner, resembled her 
as well as the Prince Emmanuel de Salm-Salm. He 
passed for being the lover whom she had adopted 
for life, but certainly at that time he was only a 
friend. A very tall man, as thin as his mistress, he 
always appeared to me to be insipid, although he 
was said to be learned. I would like to believe that, 
but he hid his treasures, and I cannot recall anything 
of his conversation. 

The Chevalier de Coigny, brother of the Due, who 
was first equerry of the King, was supposed, before 
the time of my marriage, to be the lover of my aunt. 
At least he had that reputation. Later on he formed 
a strong attachment for Mme. de Monsauge, wife of 
the fermier general and mother of the charming 
Comtesse Etienne de Durfort, whom he afterwards 



married. I was very fond of this fat chevalier who 
was of so gay and amiable a nature. As he was fifty 
years of age, I talked with him as often as possible. 
He recounted to me a thousand anecdotes which I re- 
membered and which perhaps would be amusing if I 
were to relate them. Destined to live in the grand monde 
and at the Court, I listened with interest to his reci- 
tals, for a knowledge of past times was useful to me. 

A mansion which we all visited, and where I was 
received with the most affectionate familiarity, was 
that of Mme. de Montesson. She loved my husband 
like a son. After the death of his grandmother, Mme. 
de Monconseil, he had lived there until the day of 
his marriage. She received me with extreme kindness. 
I was also bound by ties of friendship to Mme. de 
Valence, the daughter of her niece, Mme. de Genlis. 
Mme. de Valence was three years older than myself 
and was then considered a model young woman. 

It is well known that Mme. de Montesson was the 
legitimate wife of the Due d'Orleans, the father of 
Philippe-Egalite, to whom she had been married by 
the Archbishop of Toulouse. The King was unwilling 
to recognize this marriage, and she ceased to visit 
the Court. The Due d'Orleans gave up his residence 
in the Palais-Royal to establish himself in a house, 
Rue de Provence, adjoining that which Mme. de 
Montesson had bought in the Chaussee-d'Antin. 
The separating walls were torn down and the two 
gardens were united. The Due always kept his 
separate entrance, Rue de Provence, with a Swiss in 
his livery, while Mme. de Montesson also had her 
private entrance. But the courts remained connected, 



The house of Mme. de Montesson bore a very good 
reputation. She saw the best company in Paris and 
the most distinguished, from the oldest sets to the 
youngest. She no longer gave large parties, as during 
the life of the Due d'Orleans, which I much regretted. 
She immediately adopted me for a daughter, and 
from her great experience in the world, her conversa- 
tion and her counsels were very useful to me. Hardly 
a day passed without my visiting Mme. de Valence, 
and often when the hour was advanced, Mme. de 
Montesson kept me for dinner. 

On her return to Paris my grandmother came to 
see me. She soon learned from my conversation of my 
success in the world and the fine reception which I 
had received from a large number of persons whom 
she disliked. From this moment I think she resolved 
to seize the first occasion which presented itself to 
oblige us to leave my uncle's house. Nevertheless, 
for the moment I returned to the Hotel Dillon, where 
they had arranged for me a charming appartement in 
the mansardes, which was reached unfortunately by 
a small turning staircase. 

I do not remember the circumstances which finally 
led to the rupture with my relatives. After several 
months of repeated quarrels my grandmother re- 
quested us to leave her house. In spite of my tears 
and the intervention of my uncle, the Archbishop, 
whose affection we had gained, but who feared my 
grandmother too much to offer any opposition, we 
were obliged to leave the Hotel Dillon never to 
return. This was about the month of June, 1788. 

My aunt received us at her house with great kind- 



ness. It was nevertheless a great chagrin for me to be 
separated from my family. This epoch was one of 
the most painful of my life. It was the first real grief 
that I had ever known, and the remembrance is 
still painful, although I cannot in any way reproach 
myself for having provoked it. 



Sojourn with Mme. d'Henin. Monsieur de La Tour du Pin, 
Colonel de Royal- Vaisseaux. Indiscipline of the Officers 
of the Regiment. Prince Henry of Prussia. His Taste 
for French Literature. The Hotel de Rochechouart. 
Comte de Chinon, afterwards Due de Richelieu. A Ball 
at Lord Dorset's. Approach of the Revolution. Popu- 
larity of the Due d'Orleans. Causes of the Antipathy of 
the Queen for the Due. Popularity of English Fashions. 
The Origin of Monsieur de Lally-Tollendal. 

MY aunt, Mme. d'Henin, received us at her 
house in the Rue Verneuil, and gave me 
quarters on the ground floor looking out 
on a very dismal little garden. As we did not wish 
to be an expense to her, our cook prepared our 
servants' meals, and also our own when my aunt 
dined out or had company for dinner. My maid, 
Marguerite, who had never left me, refused all the 
offers and even prayers of my grandmother in order 
to accompany me. 

The summer of 1788 we passed at Passy in a house 
which Mme. d'Henin had leased, together with Mmes. 
de Poix, de Bouillon and de Biron. My aunt and I 
lived there all the time, while these ladies came there 
in turn. 



Monsieur de La Tour du Pin had been appointed 
Colonel of the regiment of Royal- Vaisseaux. This 
body of troops was in a state of great indiscipline, 
not by the conduct of the soldiers and the under- 
officers, which was excellent, but by the attitude of 
the officers, who had been spoiled by their former 
Colonel, Monsieur d'Ossun, husband of the Queen's 
Dame cTAtours. When my husband, who was very 
severe in the matter of discipline, arrived at his 
regiment, he found that these gentlemen were not 
attending to their duties. Having ascertained that 
during the daily drills the regiment was commanded 
by the under-officers and the Lieutenant-Colonel, 
Monsieur de Kergaradec, Monsieur de La Tour du 
Pin declared that, as he expected to be present at 
the drills every morning at sunrise, he should require 
that the officers also be present. This order raised a 
perfect storm of discontent, and punishments, arrests, 
prison no measures could determine the officers 
to fulfil their duties. In this way the summer 

In the autumn a camp for manoeuvres was to be 
formed at Saint-Omer under the command of the 
Prince de Conde. The first manoeuvre, which should 
have been executed in a model manner, was very un- 
satisfactory, and Monsieur de La Tour du Pin was 
furious. He reported to the Prince regarding the bad 
spirit of the regiment, or rather that of the officers. 
The Prince declared that if, at the next manoeuvre, 
the officers did not do better, he would put them all 
under arrest for the duration of the camp, and that 
the companies would be commanded by the under- 



officers. This order had the desired effect and there 
was no further insubordination. 

While these events were happening at Saint-Omer, 
I was living very pleasantly at Passy with my aunt 
and with one or two of her friends. I often visited 
Paris, and also passed some time at Berny with Mme. 
de Montesson, who was always full of kindness for 
me. Here I met very frequently old Prince Henry of 
Prussia, brother of the Great Frederick. He was a 
man of much capacity, both military and literary, and 
a great admirer of all the philosophers whom his 
brother had attracted to his court, and particularly 
of Voltaire. He knew our literature better than any 

As I am not writing a history of the Revolution, 
I shall not speak of all the conversations, arguments 
and disputes that the difference of opinions occasioned 
in society. For my eighteen years these discourses 
were very boring, and I endeavored to divert myself 
by visiting as often as possible a charming house 
where I was attached by ties of friendship since the 
period of my youth, and especially from the day that 
I had been obliged to leave my relatives. The Hotel 
de Rochechouart was one of those patriarchal man- 
sions which will never be seen again and where sev- 
eral generations mingled, sans gene, sans ennui, sans 

Mme. de Courteille, a very rich widow, had 
married her only daughter to the Comte de Roche- 
chouart. She lived with her son-in-law and their two 
daughters in a large and beautiful mansion in the 



Rue de Crenelle. Mme. de Rochechouart had been 
an intimate friend of my mother's, and I had passed 
my childhood with her two daughters, who were from 
two to four years older than myself. The elder had 
married, at the age of fifteen, the Due de Piennes, 
since Due d'Aumont. She was an amiable girl with 
an agreeable face, without being precisely pretty. 
Her husband, according to the usage in high society 
at that time, was the avowed and declared lover 
of Mme. de Reuilly, which made his wife very 

I was more intimate, however, with Rosalie, the 
younger sister. She had been married at the age of 
twelve years and one day with the grandson of the 
Marechal de Richelieu, the Comte de Chinon, who 
then was only fifteen years of age. At this time she 
was still a nice little girl, but thin and very delicate, 
while he was a disagreeable boy whom in our chil- 
dren's parties we could not endure. This marriage 
was celebrated before the death of my mother, and 
I was present. Immediately after the dinner, which 
was given at the Hotel de Richelieu, the bridegroom 
set out with his tutor for a European tour. Leaving 
thus at the beginning of the year 1782, he did not 
return to France until about seven years later. He 
had then become a large and fine young man and 
an excellent fellow. 

At the Hotel de Rochechouart every one was de- 
lighted at his return, except his poor wife who was 
far from participating in this joy. In completing her 
growth she had become, at the age of fourteen, a 
complete hunchback, and she was afraid that her 

M&]&$Efi BE 


husband would detest her on account of this de- 
formity. To add to the misfortunes of this poor man, 
he found upon his return two sisters, born of a second 
marriage of his father, who were deformed in the 
same manner as his wife. These three hunchbacks 
gave him a feeling of horror for his native country. 

At the first indications of the coming Revolution, 
he emigrated and went to Russia, where he gained 
much glory in the war between the Russians and the 
Turks, during the course of which he served as a 
volunteer in the army of Catherine II with MM. de 
Damas and de Langeron. 

Returning to France under the Consulate, he left 
almost immediately for Russia whence he did not 

return until after the Restoration. 

.1 , 

I think that it was during the spring of the year 
1789 that the Duke of Dorset, the English Am- 
bassador, who had just been replaced by Lord Gower 
and his charming wife, Lady Sutherland, gave a fine 
ball on the eve of his leaving Paris. At the bottom 
of the invitations he had placed very cavalierly: 
"Les dames seront en blanc." This order displeased 
me. By way of protest, I ordered a charming robe 
of blue crepe, trimmed with flowers of the same 
color. My gloves and my fan were also adorned with 
blue ribbons. In my coiffure, arranged by Leonard, 
were blue feathers. This piece of childish folly had a 
great success. Everybody kept remarking: "Oiseau 
bleu, couleur du temps." The Duke of Dorset him- 
self was amused at this pleasantry and said that the 
Irish were pig-headed ! 


In the midst of our pleasures we approached the 
month of May, 1789. Now that a long life permits me 
to pass in review the events which I saw unroll be- 
fore me, I am confounded by the profound blind- 
ness of the unfortunate King and of his Ministers. 
Every one insisted upon the necessity of modelling the 
new Constitution of France upon that of England, 
which few persons understood. Monsieur de Lally, 
afterwards the Marquis de Lally-Tollendal, in spite 
of his pretensions fully to understand the English 
Constitution, was himself ignorant of its details, al- 
though he passed for an oracle. The force of his 
speech filled with delight the ladies who listened to 
him. He had turned the head of my aunt who had no 
doubt of his success in the States-General. 

Monsieur de Lally had just been elected Deputy 
to the Assembly by the nobility of Paris. I was 
present at one of the first meetings of this Assembly. 
With twenty or thirty ladies I was concealed behind 
the curtains of the tribunes which had been arranged 
in the windows of the hall. The first two names taken 
from the election urn, of persons nominated for 
Secretaries of the Assembly, were those of Monsieur 
de Lally and Monsieur d'Espremenil, the President 
of the Parliament of Paris. Now it so happened that 
Monsieur d'Espremenil was the person who had 
made the report upon the sad affair which had sent 
General de Lally to the scaffold in 1766. Before the 
different courts where Monsieur de Lally, his son, 
had pleaded for the rehabilitation of the memory of 
his father, Monsieur d'Espremenil had pleaded on 
the other side and in such a furious manner that a 



profound hatred had arisen between the two men. 
Therefore when these two were proclaimed as the 
Secretaries of the Assembly, and they left their 
places at the end of the hall to seat themselves side 
by side at the desk, there was heard a murmur of 
very marked interest in favor of Monsieur de Lally. 
When, a few moments later, he addressed a few 
brief words to the Assembly to thank them for his 
nomination, and stated that all private misunder- 
standing should disappear before the public interest, 
every one present enthusiastically applauded him. 

At the beginning of the spring of 1789, which fol- 
lowed a terrible winter that had been very hard upon 
the poor, the Due d'Orleans (Egalite) was very 
popular in Paris. He had sold, the previous year, a 
large part of the pictures of the splendid gallery of 
his palace, and it was generally stated that the eight 
million francs received from this sale had been de- 
voted to relieving the misery of the people during 
the rigorous winter which had just ended. On the 
other hand, nothing was said, rightly or wrongly, of 
the charities of the Princes of the Royal family and 
of the King and Queen. This unfortunate Princess 
had become entirely devoted to the Polignac family. 
She no longer went to the theatre in Paris, and no 
one ever saw her or her children. The King also never 
appeared in public. Shut up at Versailles, or hunting 
in the surrounding woods, he suspected nothing, fore- 
saw nothing, believed nothing. 

The Queen detested the Due d'Orleans, who had 
spoken harshly of her. He had wished to marry his 
son, the Due de Chartres, afterwards King Louis- 



Philippe, with Madame Royale, the daughter of the 
King. But the Comte d'Artois, afterwards Charles X, 
also desired the hand of this Princess for his son, the 
Due d'Angouleme, a match which the Queen pre- 
ferred. The demand of the Due d'Orleans was there- 
fore refused, and he was mortally offended. His visits 
to Versailles were very infrequent, and I do not recall 
ever having met him in the Queen's room at the hour 
that the Princes came there just before the mass. 
As he never was in his appartement at Versailles, I 
had not been officially presented to him. This, 
however, did not prevent me from being present at 
the suppers which he gave at the Palais-Royal, 
which during this winter were very brilliant. 

I was present at the supper he gave at which 
was employed for the first time the beautiful silver 
service which he had ordered of Arthur, the great 
jeweller of the epoch. If I am correct in my recollec- 
tion, the service appeared to me too light and too 
English. But this was the fashion. It was necessary 
that everything should be English from our Con- 
stitution to our horses and our carriages. I was often 
envied because in public places I had the good fortune 
to evoke the exclamation, "Voila une Anglaise!" 

Since I have spoken of Monsieur de Lally at the 
moment that he became a marked man, it is well to 
tell the story of his origin, as well as the remarkable 
history of that illegitimacy from father to son which 
has perhaps never been encountered in any other 

Gerard Lally, the great-grandfather of the Lally 


of whom I am speaking, was a poor little Irish gentle- 
man who had taken the side of James II. I think that 
he came originally from the estate of my ancestor, 
Lord Dillon. 

The daughter of my great-great-uncle, Lord Dillon, 
had been seduced by this Gerard Lally, who was 
probably handsome and attractive. A son was born 
of their relations, and Lord Dillon demanded that 
Gerard should wed his daughter and legitimatize the 
child : first case of bastardy. 

The natural son of Gerard Lally distinguished 
himself during the troubles and wars of James II, 
who made him a baronet and permitted him to 
recruit troops on the estate of his ancestors. He ac- 
companied James II to France and died, if I am not 
mistaken, at Saint-Germain. Although he was never 
married, nevertheless he also left a natural son by a 
lady of Normandy, whose name I have never known : 
second case of bastardy. 

The natural son of Sir Gerard Lally became the 
General Lally who was condemned to death and 
executed in 1766 and whose name was rehabilitated 
in 1781. 

At seventeen years of age he entered the Army and 
distinguished himself in all the wars of Louis XV. 
He accompanied Prince Charles Edward in the 
glorious campaign of 1745, which ended in the un- 
fortunate defeat of Culloden in 1746. 

It is said that on his return to France he became 
very much enamored of my grandmother. But this 
is certain, that he formed a very tender friendship 
for Mile. Mary Dillon, elder sister of my great-uncle, 



the Archbishop of Narbonne. Mile. Mary Dillon was 
never married and died in 1786 at Saint-Germain-en- 
Laye, at a very advanced age. 

She was on bad terms for a long time with her 
brother, the Archbishop. This misunderstanding, 
caused originally by some family disagreement, was 
perpetuated by the troublesome interference of my 
grandmother, Mme. de Rothe, who feared the in- 
fluence on the Archbishop of Mile. Dillon, whom she 
detested. It so happened that I never saw Mile. 
Dillon until the year before her death. She had then 
become reconciled with my uncle, and we frequently 
went to see her at Saint-Germain. 

But to return to Lally and the third case of 
bastardy, to which the family seemed to be con- 
demned. Before General de Lally was sent to India 
as Governor of the French possessions, he had had 
an intrigue amoureuse with a Comtesse de Maulde, 
nee Saluces, wife of a Flemish lord of the environs 
of Arras or of Saint-Omer, and aunt of the Saluces 
whom we knew at Bordeaux. As a result of this 
liaison he had a son whom he caused to be brought 
up under another name at the Jesuit College of 
Paris. A dramatic event was destined to have a 
dominant influence upon the future of this child. 

As I have already said, Mile. Mary Dillon, who 
was a great friend of General de Lally, was his 
confidante in the matter of the intrigue with the 
Comtesse de Maulde and looked after this child, 
who was ignorant of his origin and of the name of 
his father. After the execution of General de Lally, 
an Irish officer named Drumgold was entrusted by 


Mile. Dillon with the details of the allowance of this 
young boy and went to see him. Drumgold no sooner 
found himself alone with the child than this lad of 
twelve years began to speak to him of the execution 
of Monsieur de Lally which had taken place the 
previous day. He approved of the sentence, and, to 
justify it, repeated all the arguments which he had 
heard at the Jesuit College. Drumgold, unable to 
remain silent upon hearing such language from the 
mouth of the son of the person who had just been 
executed, cried: " Malheureux, il etait ton pere!" 
At these words young Lally fainted and remained 
unconscious several hours. A severe illness followed, 
and it was during his convalescence that he formed 
the resolution to consecrate his life to the rehabilita- 
tion of the memory of his father. From this moment 
all his readings, all his studies, all his thoughts 
tended to this end. 

General de Lally had recognized his son in his will. 
The boy took his name, and at eighteen years of 
age he commenced the work of rehabilitating his 
father by composing pleadings and memoirs which 
were models of close reasoning and eloquence. Dur- 
ing a period of twenty years this was his sole occupa- 
tion and his only thought. Having received very 
little money from the inheritance of his father, he 
lived with Mile. Dillon at Saint-Germain-en-Laye 
and was protected by Marechal de Noailles and by 
Marechal de Beauvau, both friends of Mile. Dillon. 
When, in 1785, my great-uncle became reconciled 
with his sister, we saw at her appartement at Saint- 
Germain, Monsieur de Lally whom I had not previ- 


ously known. He was then about thirty-five years of 
age and had a very handsome face but an effeminate 
air which did not please me. After having pleaded 
before three Parlements, he had succeeded in gaining 
his cause, and had acquired a great reputation for 
eloquence and a well-merited standing, from the 
constancy with which he had carried his case to 
success. It would be only just to attribute a great 
part of the honor of his conduct to Mile. Dillon. A 
person of distinguished spirit, of very superior charac- 
ter, she had gained an absolute empire over Monsieur 
de Lally, and in the solitude in which she lived at 
Saint-Germain, she was entirely devoted to his in- 
terests. She died in 1786, leaving him by her will all 
the property of which she was able to dispose. More 
than this, she had arranged that he should have 
the reversion of the appartement which she occupied 
at Saint-Germain and which was the one given by 
Louis XIV to her father when he arrived at this 
chateau with James II. She had been born there, as 
well as her four sisters and five brothers, of whom 
the youngest was the Archbishop of Narbonne. My 
father deeply regretted, when he returned from the 
Islands, that she had disposed of this lodging the 
cradle of the family in France. Monsieur de Lally 
would have shown more delicacy in not accepting, 
among the objects which were left him, many of the 
family souvenirs, which were without value to him, 
but which my father and I highly esteemed on account 
of their origin. 




Mme. de Genlis. Education of the Young Orleans Princes. 
Pamela. Horse Races at Vincennes. First Popular 
Meetings. Residence at Versailles. Session of the Open- 
ing of the States-General. Attitude of the King and 
Queen. Feebleness of the Court. Departure of Mon- 
sieur Necker. The 14 July 1789. Return of Mme. 
de La Tour du Pin to Paris. The Waters of Forges. 

THE winter of 1789, which was cold and dis- 
astrous for the people, in society was as 
brilliant as usual with spectacles and balls. 

During this time circumstances led me to make a 
very curious acquaintance. Mme. de Genlis was gou- 
verneur of the young Orleans Princes and of their 
sister Louise. This unusual title of gouverneur was 
one which the Due d'Orleans had wished to give her. 
On his demanding permission of the King, Louis XVI, 
the latter replied, shrugging his shoulders and turn- 
ing on his heel: "Gouverneur ou Gouvernante! vous 
etes le maitre de faire ce qu'il vous plaira; d'ailleurs, 
le Comte d'Artois a des enfants." 

Mme. de Genlis lived in a pavilion of the Convent 
of Belle-Chasse, which was situated at the end of the 
Rue de Belle-Chasse, in the Rue Saint-Dominique. 
This pavilion, which was very small, was composed 
of a rez-de-chaussee, which you entered immediately 



from the street, after having mounted several steps 
covered by an auvent under which carriages could 
penetrate if the coachman was not too maladroit. 
A vestibule, where the servants remained, served as 
an antechamber. Mme. de Genlis occupied this small 
pavilion with Mile. d'Orleans who was then thirteen 
years of age. She had with her Pamela, afterwards 
Lady Fitz-Gerald, of whom I shall speak later on, and 
Henriette de Sercey, both of whom were being brought 
up with the Princess. The Princes themselves did not 
sleep in the pavilion. They were brought there at 
an early hour of the morning and returned in the 
evening after supper, with their sous-gouverneur, to 
sleep at the Palais-Royal. As I had often met them, 
and as I was very friendly with Mme. de Valence, 
the daughter of Mme. de Genlis, Mme. de Montesson 
invited me to come to see her when the young 
Princes were there. Mme. de Genlis had taken a 
great fancy to me, and wished to have me present 
at the little soirees dansantes which she gave once a 
week during this winter. The dances always finished 
before eleven o'clock and were not followed by a 

The Due de Chartres, afterwards King Louis- 
Philippe, had commenced to go out in society, that 
is to say, he was sometimes present at the suppers 
at the Palais-Royal. He had entered the Army and 
had the cordon bleu. He was a fat boy, very awkward 
and uncouth, with pale and hanging cheeks, an air 
at once sly, serious and timid. He was said to be well 
informed and even learned. It would be unjust to 
assert, nevertheless, that Mme. de Genlis' system 



of education had not its good side, especially when 
you compared it with the one adopted for his two 
pupils by the Due de Serent, gouverneur of the chil- 
dren of the Comte d'Artois. No one ever saw them, 
and they remained as great strangers to France as 
if they were to reign in China. The Orleans Princes, 
on the other hand, devoted their promenades and 
their recreations to everything which could instruct 
them. They learned at the same time that they were 
amused. This rendered them popular, and events 
have shown that the one of the three who survived 
profited by his experience. 

Since I have mentioned the name of Pamela, let us 
speak a moment of her origin. Mme. de Genlis let 
people understand that she had found the child in 
England, but everybody thought that she was the 
daughter of herself and the Due d'Orleans (Egalite). 
Strangely enough, however, I have reason to believe 
that the assertion of Mme. de Genlis was the truth. 
My aunt, Lady Jerningham, had known intimately 
in Shropshire, where her husband had a large estate, 
a clergyman who was also acquainted with Mme. de 
Genlis. This clergyman stated that he had received 
a letter from Mme. de Genlis asking him to find for 
her a young girl whom she wished to adopt. The 
Curate said that he had found such a child and that 
he had sent her to a place in London which had been 
indicated to him, and Lady Jerningham had no 
doubt but that this child was Pamela. 

At the age of fifteen, when I knew her, you could 
not imagine anything more delicate than her. face, 
which had not a defect nor even an imperfection. 



She was as beautiful as a young goddess. All of her 
movements were graceful; her smile was angelic; 
her teeth like pearls. In 1792, at the age of eighteen, 
she turned the head of Lord Edward Fitz-Gerald, 
fifth son of the Duke of Leinster, who married her 
and took her to Ireland, where he was head of the 
insurgents "United Irishmen." On the death of 
her husband she returned to the Continent and 
established herself at Hamburg, where she married 
the American consul, Mr. Pitcairn. I shall speak of 
her later on. 

In the spring of 1789, after the winter which had 
been so cruel for the poor, and after the opening of 
the States-General, never had people shown them- 
selves more disposed to amusement, without being 
embarrassed in any way by the public misery. There 
were races at Vincennes, where the horses of the 
Due d'Orleans ran against those of the Comte 
d'Artois. It was when returning from the last of 
these races with Mme. de Valence in her carriage 
that, in passing through the Rue Saint-Antoine, we 
came upon the first of the public Assemblies of this 

The elections being terminated, every one made 
arrangements to establish himself at Versailles. All 
the members of the States-General searched for 
apartments in the city. Those who were attached to 
the Court, arranged to occupy the apartments re- 
served for them in the Chateau. My aunt had her 
lodging there and I lived with her. Her quarters 


were located very high, over the Gallery of the 
Princes, and were situated in the wing of the Chateau 
fronting on the Parterre du Midi and the Terrasse 
de TOrangerie. The room which I occupied looked 
out on the roofs, while that of my aunt faced the 
terrace and had a very fine view. We occupied these 
lodgings Saturday nights only. Monsieur de Poix, 
as Governor of Versailles, had at his disposal a 
charming little house with a pretty garden at the 
Menagerie, which was a small isolated chateau situ- 
ated in the Grand Pare at the extremity of one of 
the arms of the canal, opposite the Trianon. He 
loaned this to my aunt, and here we settled with our 
servants, her horses and mine, that is to say, my 
saddle-horses and my English groom. This lodging 
was very agreeable. All of our acquaintances were 
established at Versailles, and we attended with 
pleasure, and without anxiety, the opening of 
this Assembly which was to regenerate France. 
When I reflect now upon this blindness, I can only 
conceive it as possible for young people like myself. 
As for men of affairs, and the Ministers, the thing 
seems inexplicable. 

My husband was so put out because he had not 
been elected Deputy to the States-General that he 
did not wish to be present at the opening of the 
session. The spectacle was magnificent, but as it has 
been so often described in the memoirs of the time, 
I shall not speak of it. The King wore the costume 
of the "cordons bleus" and all the Princes the same, 
with the difference only that the King's costume was 
more richly ornamented and covered with diamonds. 



This good Prince had no dignity of carriage. He held 
himself badly and waddled ; his movements were 
brusque and ungraceful, and his shortsightedness, 
inasmuch as it was not customary then to wear 
glasses, caused him to squint. His speech, although 
very short, was given in a resolute tone. The Queen 
was remarkable for her great dignity, but you could 
see by the almost convulsive movements of her fan 
that she was very much moved. 

The address of Monsieur Necker, Minister of 
Finance, bored me to death. It lasted more than two 
hours and, to my nineteen years, seemed eternal. 

The first of June my husband and the other 
Colonels rejoined their regiments. He was in garrison 
at Valenciennes, and consequently was not connected 
with the troops which had been assembled at the 
gates of Paris, under the command of Marechal de 
Broglie. Owing to the fatal feebleness which was al- 
ways shown at the moment when firmness was 
necessary, the Government did not employ these 
troops at the opportune moment. The Queen showed 
only discontent without ever deciding to act. 

Meanwhile there was no material change in the 
system of etiquette which enveloped the Court. 
Every day I wrote my husband the news which I 
had gathered. These letters, which would have been 
of great assistance to me in writing these souvenirs, 
I did not preserve. 

The first event which seemed to me serious was 
the withdrawal of Monsieur Necker from the Minis- 
try. It was the extraordinary conditions of his de- 
parture, rather than the consequences, which struck 



me. I had made a visit to the Contr die-General the 
eve of the day that we were to set out, my aunt and 
I, to visit the Marechal de Beauvau at his country 
house of Le Val, at the end of the terrace of Saint- 
Germain. While we were taking luncheon in the 
pavilion in the garden, a valet de chambre arrived 
very much troubled and inquired of the Marechal 
if he knew where Monsieur Necker was. He added 
that the evening before, on returning from the 
Council, the Minister had gotten into a carriage 
with Mme. Necker, saying that he was going to take 
supper at Le Val, and that since then he had not 
been seen, and no one knew where to find him. This 
disappearance very much disturbed us, and my aunt 
wished to return to Versailles, or rather to the 
Menagerie, where we were established. On arriving 
there the mystery was unveiled. The horses of Mon- 
sieur Necker had returned to Versailles after having 
conducted their master to Bourget. From this place 
he had taken the post to go to Switzerland by way 
of the Low Countries. His intention, in so leaving 
the Ministry, was to avoid testimonials of his popu- 
larity which his departure could not have failed to 

Mme. de Montesson, who was at Paris, had formed 
the plan of going to Berny to pass the summer. 
Loving the world as she did, she would doubtless 
have preferred to establish herself for the season at 
Versailles, which was then the centre of society and 
affairs. But her position with regard to the Court 
did not permit this. Berny was not very far from 
Versailles and she could go there in two hours by 



the Sceaux road. She therefore decided to establish 
herself there with Mme. de Valence and invited 
me to come and pass a month or six weeks. 

The thirteenth of July therefore I sent off my 
saddle-horses, with my English groom, who hardly 
spoke French, and ordered him to go by way of 
Paris in order to secure certain articles which were 
necessary. I relate this little incident as proof that 
no one had the least idea of what was to happen in 
Paris the following day. The little army which was 
assembled in the Plain of Crenelle and the Champ- 
de-Mars reassured the Court, and although there 
were desertions every day, no one was disturbed. 

When you remember that my personal position 
put me in the way of knowing everything; that 
Monsieur de Lally, an influential member of the 
Assembly, lived with my aunt and myself at the 
little house of the Menagerie; that I went every day 
to supper at Versailles with Mme. de Poix, whose 
husband was Captain of the Guards and a member 
of the Assembly, and saw the King every evening, 
you will be very much surprised at what I am going 
to relate. 

Our security was so profound that the 14 July 
at noon we had no idea, my aunt and myself, that 
there was the slightest tumult at Paris, and I got 
into my carriage with a maid, and a domestic on the 
box, to go to Berny by the highway to Sceaux 
which traverses the Bois de Verrieres. It is true that 
this route, that of Versailles to Choisy-le-Roi, does 
not pass through any villages and is very solitary. 



I recall that I had dined at an early hour at Versailles 
so as to arrive at Berny in my apartment before 
supper, which in the country was served at nine 
o'clock. On arriving at Berny, I was surprised, after 
having entered the first court, to see no one and to 
find the stables deserted, the doors closed and the 
same solitude in the court of the chateau. The con- 
cierge, who knew me well, on hearing the carriage 
came out on the step and cried with a troubled air: 
"Eh! mon Dieu, madame! Madame n'est pas ici. 
Personne n'est sorti de Paris. On a tire le canon de 
la Bastille. II y a eu un massacre. Quitter la ville 
est impossible. Les portes sont barricadees et gardees 
par les Gardes Francaises qui se sont revokes avec 
le peuple." 

You can conceive of my astonishment greater 
even than my anxiety; but as unforeseen cir- 
cumstances, in spite of my youth, did not greatly 
disconcert me, I ordered the carriage to turn around 
and conduct me to the poste aux chevaux of Berny, 
where I knew the master to be a worthy man, very 
devoted to Mme. de Montesson and her friends. I 
told him of my desire to return immediately to 
Versailles. He confirmed to me the story of the 
concierge. My hired coachman, however, declared 
that he would not return to Versailles for anything 
in the world. I then arranged to have hitched up 
four post horses with two postilions, for whom the 
master vouched as determined fellows, and we set 
out at a full gallop to return to Versailles. I arrived 
there at eleven o'clock. My aunt, who had a head- 
ache, was already in bed. She had not seen Mme. 



de Poix, and Monsieur de Lally had not returned. 
She therefore knew nothing. On seeing me at her 
bedside she thought that she had a bad dream or 
that my head was turned. As for myself, I confess 
that the fate of my English groom and my three 
horses worried me more than anything else. 

The next morning at an early hour we were at 
the Chateau. My aunt went to look for news, while 
I hastened to my father-in-law, from whom I 
learned everything that had passed: the taking of 
the Bastille ; the revolt of the regiment of the French 
Guards; the deaths of MM. de Launay and Flesselles 
and of many others who were more obscure ; the use- 
less charge upon the Place Louis XV of the squad- 
ron Royal-Allemand, commanded by the Prince de 
Lambesc. The following day a deputation of the 
people forced Monsieur de La Fayette to place him- 
self at the head of the National Guard which had 
been instituted. 

Seven or eight days after the 14 July, Monsieur 
de La Tour du Pin arrived en secret at Versailles from 
his garrison, as he was much disturbed regarding his 
father and myself. The Ministry of War did not dis- 
approve of this slight infraction, and a leave of 
absence was given him at the request of his father 
who was glad to have his son beside him. Neverthe- 
less, after the visit of the King to Paris, which had 
been required by the Commune, and the return of 
Monsieur Necker, who had been brought back in the 
hope of calming the excitement, my husband, who 
did not think that his father should accept the posi- 



tion of Minister of War, which had been offered him, 
wished to leave Versailles in order not to influence 
his father in his determination. 

I had been ordered to go to the Springs of Forges 
in Normandy, and the month which we spent there 
is one of the periods of my life which I recall with 
the greatest pleasure. Having sent our saddle-horses, 
we made long promenades every day in the beautiful 
woods and pretty country which surround this little 
city. We had brought with us a great variety of books 
and my husband, an indefatigable reader, read them 
to me while I occupied myself with embroidery and 
other handiwork. 



Monsieur de La Tour du Pin Pere, Minister of War. Official 
Dinners. Commencement of the Emigration. Ruin of 
the La Tour du Pin Family. The Controls-General and 
Mme. de Stael. Organization of the National Guard of 
Versailles. Monsieur de La Tour du Pin, Second in Com- 
mand. The National Guard of Paris and Monsieur de 
La Fayette. Banquet of the Gardes du Corps at the 
Chateau. Day of the 5th of October. The King at the 
Hunt. Paris Marches on Versailles. Arrangements for 
the Defence. The Women of Paris at Versailles. Revolt 
of the National Guard of Versailles. Plan for the De- 
parture of the Royal Family for Rambouillet. Invasion 
of the Offices of the Ministry. Hesitation of the King. 
Monsieur de La Fayette with the King. Calm Re- 
established. Day of the 6th of October. An Armed 
Band Invades the Chateau. Massacre of the Gardes du 
Corps. Attempted Assassination of the Queen. Presence 
of the Due d'Orleans. Departure of the Royal Family 
for Paris. The King Confides the Guard of the Palace 
of Versailles to Monsieur de La Tour du Pin. Mme. de 
La Tour du Pin Takes Refuge at Saint-Germain. 

SEVERAL days after the events which I have 
just recounted, my husband received a courier 
announcing the nomination of his father as 
Minister of War. We immediately set out for Ver- 
sailles. This was the commencement of my public 
life. My father-in-law took up his quarters in the 



War Department, which was installed in that part 
of the Palace forming the southern wing of the Cour 
des Ministres. He put me at the head of his mansion 
to do the honors, together with my sister-in-law, who 
was also lodged at the Ministry, but who, at the end 
of two months, was obliged to leave us. With my 
husband I occupied a fine apartment on the first 
floor. I had become so accustomed at Montpellier 
and Paris to state dinners that my new situation 
did not in any way embarrass me. There were two 
dinners a week of twenty-four covers, to which were 
invited all the members of the Assembly in turn. 
Their wives were never invited. Mme. de Lameth 
and I were seated facing each other, and we had be- 
side us the four individuals of the most importance, 
chosen always from the different parties. Inasmuch 
as we were at Versailles, the men, without exception, 
were always in full dress at these dinners, and I re- 
member Monsieur de Robespierre, in an apple-green 
costume, with a mass of white hair which was well 
dressed. Mirabeau was the only one who did not 
come and was never invited. I often went out to 
supper sometimes to the houses of our colleagues, 
and sometimes to those of persons established at 
Versailles during the period of the National Assembly. 
Two days after the taking of the Bastille, the 
fourteenth of July, the Comte d'Artois, with his 
children, left France and went to Turin to his father- 
in-law, the King of Sardinia. Several persons of his 
household accompanied him, among others, Monsieur 
d'Henin, the Captain of his Guards. The Queen, 
thinking that the popular feeling might compromise 

[8 5 ] 


the security of the Polignac family, arranged for 
them also to leave France. Mme. de Polignac took 
with her her daughter, the Duchesse de Gramont, 
and I saw her for the last time on the eve of her 

Everything in France follows the custom, and that 
of emigration commenced at this time. All began to 
raise money upon their property in order to carry 
away a large sum. Nobody at that time foresaw the 
consequences that would follow this action. 

Nevertheless, the motion adopted the night of the 
fourth of August, which destroyed feudal rights, 
should have proved to the most incredulous that the 
National Assembly would not stop at this beginning 
of robbery. My father-in-law was ruined, and we 
have never recovered from this blow to our fortune. 
Entire spoliation was not decreed at this time ; they 
only settled the rate at which property could be re- 
acquired ; but before the expiration of the date fixed 
for the payment of this sum, it was decided that such 
payment could not be made. In fine, everything was 
lost. By a stroke of the pen we were ruined. Since 
then we have been obliged to live by expedients, 
from the proceeds of the sale of what remained to us. 

At this time I did not realize that my grandmother, 
who during the past six months had retired to Haute- 
fontaine with my uncle, the Archbishop, was also 
to entirely deprive me of my fortune, upon which I 
had every reason to count. I could not foresee that 
my uncle, who still enjoyed an income of over 400,000 
francs, of which he could not spend one fourth part, 
in the retreat where he lived, would leave, when he 



departed from France the following year, nearly two 
million francs of debts in which my grandmother was 

We did not at once realize all the consequences of 
the ruin which had come to us. My father-in-law as 
Minister received a salary of 300,000 francs, besides 
his income as Lieutenant-General and Commander of 
a province. However, he was obliged to keep up an 
expensive establishment, and besides the two state 
dinners a week of twenty-four covers, we gave two 
elegant suppers to which I invited twenty-five or 
thirty ladies. 

Mme. Necker, the wife of the Controle -General, or 
to speak more correctly, of the Prime Minister, lived 
on a footing similar to our own. But as she rarely 
went out, she received every day at supper the 
Deputies and the savants, together with the admirers 
of her daughter, who was then in the full flush of her 
youth, interested at the same time in politics, science, 
intrigue and love. Mme. de Stael lived with her 
father at the ministerial residence at Versailles, and 
it was at this period that she was the most involved 
with Alexandre de Lameth, who at the time was 
still the friend of my husband. This friendship, 
which dated from their youth, disturbed me. I had 
a very poor opinion of the morality of this young 
man, and my sister-in-law shared my feeling in this 
respect. Therefore, when several months later my 
husband completely broke with him and his brother 
Charles, we were delighted. Although I was on a 
footing of intimate relations with Mme. de Stael, 
these never went so far as confidence in her. 


This woman was a strange mixture of good and bad 
qualities, of which I have often endeavored to explain 
the connection. Her good qualities were tarnished by 
the passions to which she easily gave way. Neverthe- 
less, it would be wrong to think that I considered 
her as really a licentious person. In spite of every- 
thing, she always exacted a certain delicacy of senti- 
ment, and she was susceptible to passions which 
were very strong and very ardent as long as they 
lasted. Thus it was that she passionately loved Mon- 
sieur de Narbonne, who abandoned her in a very 
unworthy manner. 

At this time the National Guard was being organ- 
ized throughout the kingdom on the model of that 
of Paris, of which Monsieur de La Fayette was 
Generalissimo. The King himself desired that that of 
Versailles should be formed and that all the clerks 
and employes of the Ministry should become mem- 
bers. In the Comte d'Estaing a bad choice was made 
for the Commander. My father had served under his 
orders at the beginning of the American war and 
had the most positive proofs that the Comte was 
lacking not only in ability but in courage. However, 
on his return he was loaded with praise, whereas my 
father, to whom he owed his first success, as it was 
the Dillon Regiment which took Grenade, received 
after the war only neglect. It was due to the request 
of the Queen that Monsieur d'Estaing was named as 
Commander-in-chief of the National Guard of Ver- 
sailles. My father-in-law appointed his son as second 
in command, which was equivalent to the real com- 



mand, as Monsieur d'Estaing never occupied himself 
with his duties except when he was unable to avoid 
it. Monsieur Berthier, who was later Prince de Wa- 
gram, a very distinguished officer of the General 
Staff, was named as Major-General . He was a worthy 
man who had talent as organizer, but the feebleness 
of his character left him open to all kinds of intrigues. 

The day of Saint-Louis it was customary for the 
magistrates and officers of the city of Paris to bring 
their felicitations to the King. This year the National 
Guard wished also to take part in this function, and 
the Generalissimo, Monsieur de La Fayette, went to 
Versailles with his staff, at the same time as Monsieur 
Bailly, the Mayor of Paris, and all of the municipal 
officers. The fish-women also came as usual to bring 
a bouquet to the King. The Queen received them all 
ceremoniously in the salon vert, adjoining her bed- 
chamber. The ordinary etiquette of these receptions 
was followed. The Queen, as usual, wore a dress 
which was very much trimmed and covered with 
diamonds. She was seated in a large fauteuil with a 
kind of small stool at her feet. At right and left, 
seated upon stools, were several Duchesses in full 
dress, and behind them, all the ladies and gentlemen 
of the household. 

The usher announced: "La ville de Paris !" The 
Queen expected that the Mayor would kneel as he 
had done in previous years, but Monsieur Bailly, on 
entering, only made a deep bow, to which the Queen 
responded by a nod of the head which was not very 
cordial. He delivered a short address, very well 
written, in which he spoke of devotion, of attach- 



ment and also a little of the fear of the people re- 
garding the shortage of food, with which they were 
menaced every day. 

Then Monsieur de La Fayette advanced and pre- 
sented the Staff of the National Guard. The Queen 
turned red, and I saw that her emotion was very 
great. She stammered several words in a trembling 
voice and then dismissed them with a nod of the 
head. They went away very much displeased with 
her, as I have since learned. This unfortunate 
Princess never considered the importance of the cir- 
cumstances in which she found herself. She was in- 
fluenced by the feelings of the moment, without con- 
sidering the consequences. These officers of the 
National Guard, whom a gracious word would have 
won, went away in bad humor and spread their 
discontent throughout Paris. All this increased the 
ill-feeling which they had towards the Queen and of 
which the Due d'Orleans was the first author. 

The National Guard of Versailles, like the other 
troops of the kingdom, wished to have flags, and it 
was decided that these should be solemnly con- 
secrated at Notre-Dame-de- Versailles. A deputation 
of the principal officers, with Monsieur d'Estaing at 
their head, came to request me to interest myself 
in the ceremony of this benediction. If any one had 
told me, at the time, that the modest Major of the 
National Guard, Berthier, whose father was steward 
of the War Department, would become the Sovereign 
Prince of Neufchatel and that he would wed a German 
Princess, I should have laughed at such a tale; but 
we have seen others even more remarkable ! 



I was present at this very brilliant and very solemn 
ceremony where there were deputations from all the 
military corps present at Versailles. During this 
high mass, which was very long, I had time to 
reflect upon the march of events. Hardly fourteen 
months before, I had been present the day of Pente- 
cost in the Chapel of Versailles, at a meeting of the 
chapter of the cordons bleus, at which were present 
the King and all the Princes of the Royal House, of 
whom several had already left France. 

The regiment of Flandre-Infanterie, of which the 
Marquis de Lusignan, a Deputy, was Colonel, had 
been ordered to Versailles. At this time the Gardes 
du Corps wished to offer a dinner to the officers of 
this regiment of Flanders and to those of the National 
Guard. They requested that for this purpose they 
should be allowed to use the large Salle des Spectacles 
de la Cour, at the end of the gallery of the Chapel. 
This superb hall could be converted into a ball-room by 
placing over the parterre a floor on a level with the 
boxes, and the permission was given them. The dinner 
commenced rather late and the theatre was brilliantly 
illuminated, which would have been necessary under 
any circumstances, as there were no windows. 

My sister-in-law and I went, towards the end of 
the dinner, to view the scene which was really magni- 
ficent. Toasts were being proposed, and my husband, 
who came to meet us and to conduct us to one of 
the first tier boxes, had time to tell us very low that 
the officers were very much excited and that in- 
considerate words had been uttered. 



All at once it was announced that the King and 
Queen were coming to the banquet a very im- 
prudent step which had the worst possible after- 
effect. The sovereigns appeared in a box with the 
little Dauphin who was about five years of age. 
There were enthusiastic cries of: "Vive le Roi!" A 
Swiss officer approached the box and asked the 
Queen to confide to him the Dauphin, in order to 
make the round of the hall. She consented and the 
poor little fellow was not at all afraid. The officer 
put the child on the table and he made the round 
very boldly, smiling and not at all frightened by the 
cries which he heard around him. The Queen was 
not so calm, and when the child was brought back 
to her, she embraced him tenderly. We left as soon 
as the King and Queen had retired. The next day 
the opposition journals, of which several were al- 
ready in existence, did not fail to give a description 
of the "orgy" at Versailles. 

The fourth of October there was a shortage of 
bread at several bakers in Paris and a great deal of 
tumult. One of these bakers was hung, in spite of the 
efforts of Monsieur de La Fayette and the National 
Guard. Nevertheless, at Versailles no one was 
alarmed. They thought that this revolt was similar 
to those which had already taken place and that the 
National Guard, of whose loyalty they felt sure, 
would be able to control the people. Several messages 
which came to the King and to the President of the 
Chambers were so reassuring that the fifth of October, 
at ten o'clock in the morning, the King set out for 



the hunt in the wood of Verrieres, while I myself, 
after dejeuner, went to rejoin Mme. de Valence who 
had come to Versailles. We went for a drive in the 
garden of Mme. Elisabeth at the end of the Grande 
Avenue. As we descended from the carriage to 
traverse the contre-allee, we saw a man on horse- 
back pass near us at full gallop. It was the Due de 
Maille, who cried out to us : " Paris is marching here 
with cannon!" This news greatly frightened us, and 
we returned at once to Versailles, where the alarm 
had been given. 

My husband had gone to the Assembly without 
knowing anything. We were not in ignorance of the 
fact that there was a great deal of tumult in Paris ; 
but we were not able to learn anything more, be- 
cause the gates had been closed and no one was 
permitted to go out. Monsieur de La Tour du Pin, 
in searching in the corridors for a person with w T hom 
he wished to speak, passed behind a large man whom 
he did not at once recognize, who was saying: "Paris 
is marching here with twelve pieces of cannon." 
This personage was Mirabeau, then strongly allied 
with the Due d'Orleans. My husband hastened to 
his father, who was already in conference with the 
other Ministers. The first thing that they did was 
to send in every direction where they thought the 
hunt might have led the King, to warn him to return. 
My husband occupied himself in assembling the 
National Guard, in whom he was far from having 
confidence. He ordered the Flanders Regiment to 
take their arms and to occupy the Place d'Armes. 
The Gardes du Corps saddled their horses. Couriers 



were sent out to call the Swiss from Courbevoie. 
Messengers were sent out at every moment on the 
highway to obtain news of what was going on. It 
was learned that an innumerable mob of men with 
many women were marching upon Versailles; that 
after this kind of advance guard came the National 
Guard of Paris with their cannon, followed by a large 
troop of individuals marching without order. There 
was no longer time to defend the bridge of Sevres. 
The National Guard of that city had already given 
it up to the women and had fraternized with the 
Guard of Paris. My father-in-law wished to send the 
Flanders Regiment to cut off the road from Paris, 
but the National Assembly had declared itself in a 
permanent session, the King was absent, and there 
was no one present to take the initiative in any 
hostile demonstration. 

During this time the drums beat the call to as- 
semble the National Guard. They came together on 
the Place d'Armes and were placed in battle order 
with their backs to the railing of the Cour Royale. 
The Flanders Regiment had its left wing on the 
Grande Ecurie and its right on the railing. The post 
of the interior of the Cour Royale and that of the 
Chapel were occupied by the Swiss, of whom there 
was always a strong detachment at Versailles. The 
gates everywhere were closed. All the outlets of the 
Chateau were barricaded, and the doors, which had 
not turned on their hinges since the days of Louis 
XIV, were closed for the first time. 

Finally, at about three o'clock, the King and his 
suite arrived at full gallop by the Grande Avenue. 



This unfortunate Prince, instead of stopping and 
addressing a kind word to this fine Flanders Regi- 
ment, before which he passed, and which cried: 
"Vive le Roi!" did not say a single word to them. 
He went to shut himself up in his apartment, from 
which he did not come out. The National Guard of 
Versailles, which was making its first campaign, com- 
menced to murmur and to declare that it would not 
fire upon the people of Paris. There were no cannon at 

The advance guard of two or three hundred women 
commenced to arrive and to spread out in the Avenue. 
Many entered the Assembly and said that they had 
come to look for bread and to take the Deputies to 
Paris. Night came on, and several gun shots were 
heard. They came from the ranks of the National 
Guard and were directed against my husband, their 
commander, whom they had refused to obey, by re- 
maining at their post. My husband escaped by a 
miracle and, realizing the fact that his troop had 
abandoned him, he went to take a place in front of 
the Gardes du Corps, who were drawn up in battle 
order near the Petite Ecurie. But these troops, which 
comprised only the company of Gramont, were so 
few in number that any idea of defence was thought 

At this moment, my father-in-law and Monsieur 
de Saint-Priest offered the advice that the King 
should retire to Rambouillet with his family and 
await there any propositions which might be made 
to him by the insurgents of Paris and by the National 
Assembly. The King at first accepted this plan. At 



about eight or nine o'clock a company of the Gardes 
du Corps was ordered to the Cour Royale, which 
they entered by the gate of the Rue de la Sur-In- 
tendance, now the Rue Gambetta. From here they 
passed by the Terrasse de 1'Orangerie, under the 
windows of the apartments of Queen Marie-An- 
toinette, traversed the Little Park and gained, by 
the Menagerie, the Grande Route to Saint-Cyr. 
There was left of this troop at Versailles only suf- 
ficient men to relieve the posts in the apartments of 
the King and Queen. The Suisses and the Cent- 
Suisses guarded their own posts. 

It was at this moment that two or three hundred 
women, who for an hour had been hovering around 
the gates, discovered a little door opening upon the 
Rue du Grand-Commun, which was a prolongation 
of the Rue de la Chancellerie. This door gave access 
to a secret staircase which ended under that part of 
the building where we had our quarters in the Cour 
des Ministres. Some traitor had probably shown 
them this entrance. They entered in a crowd, knock- 
ing down the Swiss guard posted at the top of the 
stairway, then spread through the court and gained 
the quarters of the four Ministers which were located 
in this part of the building. My husband returned at 
this moment to bring news to his sister and myself. 
Very much disturbed to find us in such bad company, 
he accompanied us into the Chateau. My sister-in- 
law had taken the precaution of sending her children 
to the house of a deputy, one of our friends, who was 
lodged in the city. Guided by Monsieur de La Tour 
du Pin, we ascended to the Gallery where we found 



1766 - 1817 


already gathered a number of persons living in the 
Chateau, who had come from their apartments to be 
nearer the source of news. 

During this time the King, still hesitating as to 
what decision to make, was no longer willing to de- 
part for Rambouillet. He consulted everybody. The 
Queen, equally undecided, could not make up her 
mind to this flight by night. My father-in-law went 
down on his knees to the King to implore him to put 
himself and his family in a place of security. The 
Ministers would have remained to treat with the 
insurgents and the Assembly. But the King, repeat- 
ing continually, "I do not wish to compromise any 
one," thus lost a precious period of time. At one time 
it was thought that he was going to yield, and the 
order was given to prepare the carriages for de- 
parture. For two hours they had been ready waiting 
in the Grande Ecurie. No one seemed to think 
that the people of Versailles would oppose the de- 
parture of the Royal family. This, however, is what 
happened. The moment that the crowd of people 
from Paris and Versailles who were assembled on the 
Place d'Armes saw the gate of the court of the 
Grande Ecurie opened, there was a unanimous cry 
of fear and fury: "Le roi s'en va!" At the same mo- 
ment they rushed upon the carriages, cut the harness 
and led the horses back, so that it was necessary to 
bring word to the Chateau that the departure was 
impossible. My father-in-law and Monsieur de Saint- 
Priest then offered our carriages, which were hitched 
up outside the railing of the Orangerie, but the King 
and the Queen rejected this proposition, and every 



one, discouraged, frightened and fearing the greatest 
misfortunes, remained in silence and suspense. 

In this Gallery, witness of all the splendors of the 
monarchy since Louis XIV, every one walked up and 
down without exchanging a word. The Queen re- 
mained in her room with Mme. Elisabeth, the sister 
of Louis XVI, and the wife of the Comte de Provence. 
The Salon de Jeu, hardly lighted, was full of women 
who were talking in low tones some seated on 
stools and others upon the tables. As for myself, my 
agitation was so great that I could not remain for a 
moment in the same place. Every few minutes I 
went to the &il-de-boruf, from which one could see 
those who entered and who came out of the King's 
apartment, in the hope of encountering my husband 
or my father-in-law and of learning from them some 
news. The wait to me seemed intolerable. 

Finally at midnight, my husband, who had been 
in the court for some time, came to announce that 
Monsieur de La Fayette had arrived before the gate 
of the Cour des Ministres, with the National Guard 
of Paris, and requested to speak with the King. He 
added that a part of this Guard, composed of the 
former Regiment des Gardes, was manifesting much 
impatience and that the least delay might lead to 
trouble and even danger. 

The King then said: "Have Monsieur de La Fa- 
yette come up." In an instant Monsieur de La Tour 
du Pin was at the gate, and Monsieur de La Fayette, 
dismounting from his horse, and so fatigued that he 
was hardly able to stand upright, ascended to the 
King's apartment accompanied by seven or eight 



persons, mostly from his staff. Very much moved he 
addressed the King in these terms: "Sire, j'ai pense 
qu'il valait mieux venir ici, mourir aux pieds de Votre 
Majeste, que de perir inutilement sur la Place de 
Greve." To these words the King replied: "Que 
veulent-ils done?" La Fayette said: "Le peuple 
demande du pain, et la Garde desire reprendre ses 
anciens postes aupres de Votre Majeste." The King 
said: "Well, let them do so." 

These words were immediately reported to me. My 
husband descended with Monsieur de La Fayette, 
and the National Guard of Paris, composed almost 
exclusively of the Gardes Fran^aises, resumed at 
once their former posts. Thus it happened that at 
every outer door where there had been a Swiss 
guard, a member of the Guard of Paris was posted, 
and the rest, made up of several hundred men, were 
sent to bivouac, as usual, upon the Place d'Armes, 
in a long building comprising several large halls 
constructed and painted in the form of tents. 

During this time the people of Paris had left the 
vicinity of the Chateau and had dispersed in the city 
and the cabarets. The women, who had invaded the 
offices of the Ministry, were sleeping everywhere on 
the floor. The principal leaders of the women had 
taken refuge in the hall of the National Assembly 
where they remained during the night mingled with 
the Deputies, who were being relieved in order to 
keep up the permanent session. 

I think that Monsieur de La Fayette, after having 
established his posts of the National Guard, went to 
the Assembly, whence he returned to the Chateau 



with Mme. de Poix, whose quarters were near the 
chapel in the gallery of that name. As for Monsieur 
d'Estaing, he had not appeared during the whole day 
and had remained in the cabinet of the King, taking 
no more responsibility for the National Guard of 
Versailles than as if he had not been their com- 
mander-in-chief. Monsieur de La Tour du Pin had 
brought together a small number of the officers of 
his staff, upon whom he thought he could count, 
among whom was Major Berthier. But the majority 
of the officers at this advanced hour had retired to 
their own quarters or to the houses of persons of 
their acquaintance. 

The King, to whom they had reported that the 
most absolute calm reigned at Versailles, which at 
that moment was really true, dismissed all the persons 
who were still present in the ceil-de-bceuf or in his 
cabinet. The ushers came to the Gallery to tell the 
ladies who were still there that the Queen had retired. 
The doors were closed, the candles extinguished, and 
my husband escorted us back to the apartment of my 
aunt, which was situated above the Galerie des 
Princes, at the top of the south wing of the Chateau. 
He did not wish to take us back to our rooms in the 
Ministry on account of the women who were sleeping 
in the antechambers and who caused us great disgust. 

After having placed us in security in this apart- 
ment, he redescended to find his father and pray 
him to go to bed, saying that he himself would 
watch during the night. He went to his room to put 
on an overcoat over his uniform, for the night was 
cold and damp; then, taking a round hat, he 



descended to the court and proceeded to visit the 
posts. He went through the courts, the passages and 
the garden to assure himself that it was quiet every- 
where. He did not hear the least noise, either around 
the Chateau or in the adjacent streets. The different 
posts were relieved with vigilance, and the guard 
which was installed in the large tent upon the Place 
d'Armes, and which had placed the cannon in form 
of battery before the gate, was performing its service 
with the same regularity as before the 14 July. 

Such is the exact account of what passed at Ver- 
sailles the fifth of October. 

Monsieur de La Tour du Pin, having heard noth- 
ing of a nature to lead him to fear the least disorder, 
returned after his nocturnal round to the office of 
the Minister of War in the south wing of the Cour 
des Ministres. However, instead of going to the 
cabinet or to his room, which, like my own, faced 
the Rue du Grand-Commun, he remained in the din- 
ing-room and placed himself at a window to have the 
air for fear of going to sleep. It is well to explain here 
that the Cour des Princes was then closed by a gate 
near which was stationed a garde du corps, for here 
was the first post of the guard of the King's person, 
a service which particularly devolved upon the Gardes 
du Corps and the Cent-Suisses. In the interior of 
this little court there was a passage which communi- 
cated with the Cour Roy ale. This had been arranged 
so as to enable the Gardes du Corps, who were 
stationed in the Cour Royale at the corner of the 
Cour Marbre, when the posts were changed, to go 
out by the gate at the middle of the Cour Royale 



and reenter by that of the Cour des Princes. It will 
be seen in a moment how necessary the knowledge 
of this passageway was to the assassins. 

Day was commencing to break. It was almost six 
o'clock, and the most profound silence reigned in the 
court. Monsieur de La Tour du Pin, leaning out of 
the window, thought he heard the steps of a great 
crowd of people which seemed to ascend the rampe 
that led to the Cour des Ministres, from the Rue de la 
Sur-Intendance. Then, to his great surprise, he saw a 
mob of miserable creatures enter by the gate, al- 
though it had been closed and locked. The key had 
been obtained by an act of treason. The crowd was 
armed with axes and sabres. At the same moment 
my husband heard a gun-shot. During the time that 
he took to descend the stairway and to have the door 
ot the Ministry opened, the assassins had killed 
Monsieur de Vallori, the garde du corps posted at 
the gate of the Cour des Princes, and had rushed 
through the passage of which I have just spoken to 
fall upon the Corps de Garde of the Cour Royale. 
Some of the crowd, who were not more than two 
hundred in number, rushed to the marble stair- 
case, while another part hurled themselves upon the 
garde du corps whom his comrades had abandoned 
without defence. This unfortunate man, after having 
fired one shot, with which he killed the nearest of his 
assailants, was immediately cut down by the others. 
This task accomplished, the invaders rushed to rejoin 
the other part of the band which, at this moment, 
had forced aside the guard of the Cent-Suisses posted 
at the top of the marble staircase. 



The proof that no extra precautions had been 
taken, is found in the fact that the assassins, arrived 
at the top of the staircase, and certainly guided by 
some one who knew the route to follow, turned into 
the Queen's Guardroom and fell suddenly upon the 
only guard who was posted in this place. This guard 
rushed to the door of the Queen's bed-chamber, 
which was closed on the inside, and having rapped 
several times with the cross of his mousqueton, he 
cried: "Madame, save yourself! They are coming to 
kill you!" Then, resolved to sell his life dearly, he 
placed his back against the door, discharged his 
mousqueton, and defended himself by his sabre, but 
was quickly cut down by these miserable creatures 
who fortunately had no fire-arms. He fell against the 
door, and his body hindered the assassins from break- 
ing it in. His body was pushed aside into the embra- 
sure of the window, which saved his life. 

During this time my sister-in-law and I were sleep- 
ing in one of the apartments of my aunt, Mme. 
d'Henin. My fatigue was so great that my sister-in- 
law had considerable trouble in awakening me. As 
neither of us was undressed, we both rushed to the 
room of my aunt, which looked out upon the park, 
and where she was unable to hear anything. Her fright 
was equal to our own. We immediately called our 
servants. Before they were awakened, my good and 
devoted Marguerite came running to us, pale as 
death, and tumbling upon the first chair, she cried: 
"Ah! mon Dieu! nous allons tous etre massacres." 
This exclamation was far from reassuring us. 

Marguerite stated that she had left her room with 


the intention of coming to ascertain whether I had 
need of her services, but in descending the stair- 
case, she had discovered a large number of very 
ordinary people and had seen arriving a Monsieur, 
with boots covered with mud, and a whip in his hand, 
who was no other than the Due d'Orleans, whom she 
recognized perfectly, as she had often seen him; fur- 
thermore, that these miserable creatures surrounded 
him and showed their joy at seeing him by crying: 
"Vive notre roi d'Orleans!" 

Marguerite had hardly finished this moving recital 
when my husband arrived. He told us that on seeing 
the assassins penetrate into the Cour Royale, he had 
immediately rushed to the grand 1 garde stationed 
upon the Place d'Armes to have the drums beat the 
alarm. We also learned from him that the Queen had 
been able to save herself by going to the King's 
apartment through a little passage, arranged under 
the room known as the (Eil-de-Bceuf, which formed the 
means of communication between her bedroom and 
that of the King. He persuaded us to leave my aunt's 
apartment, which was too near, in his opinion, to 
those of the King and Queen, and counselled us to 
rejoin Mme. de Simaine, who was lodged near the 
Orangerie. The Abbe de Damas came to find us and 
conduct us there. 

At the end of two hours, which seemed to me 
centuries, my husband sent a valet de chambre to 
inform me that they were leading the King and 
Queen to Paris, that the Ministers, the Administra- 
tion and the National Assembly were quitting Ver- 
sailles, where he himself had the order to remain to 



save the Chateau from pillage after the departure of 
the King. He added that for this purpose they were 
leaving him a Swiss battalion, the National Guard of 
Versailles, of which the commander-in-chief, Mon- 
sieur d'Estaing, had sent in his resignation, and a 
battalion of the National Guard of Paris. For the 
moment he forbade me absolutely to issue from my 
refuge. I remained alone for several hours, as my 
aunt had gone to Mme. de Poix, who was also 
leaving for Paris, and my sister-in-law had left me 
to go in search of her children and her husband. 
He had just arrived from Henencourt and wished to 
have her leave at once for the country. I do not 
think that I ever in my life passed hours more 
cruel than those of this morning. The death-cries 
by which I had been awakened still resounded in my 
ears. The least noise made me tremble. My imagina- 
tion conjured up all the dangers which my husband 
could run. My maid, Marguerite, who could have 
encouraged me, was also absent. She had returned 
to the Ministry to assist my servants in packing our 
effects, which were to go to Paris by the wagons of 
my father-in-law. 

About three o'clock Mme. d'Henin returned to 
look for me and announced that the sad cortege had 
set out for Paris, the carriage of the King preceded 
by the heads of the Gardes du Corps, which their 
assassins were carrying on the ends of their pikes. 

In getting into his carriage, Louis XVI had said 
to Monsieur de La Tour du Pin: "Vous restez 
maitre ici. Tachez de me sauver mon pauvre Ver- 
sailles." This injunction was equivalent to an order, 

[IO S ] 


which he was firmly resolved to obey. He took 
measures to carry out this order with the com- 
mander of the battalion of the National Guard of 
Paris who had been left with him a man who was 
very determined and who showed the best good- 
will this was Santerre ! 

I left my refuge with my aunt and returned to the 
Ministry. A frightful solitude then reigned at Ver- 
sailles. The only noise which was heard in the 
Chateau was that of the doors, the blinds and the 
window-shutters which were being closed for the first 
time since the reign of Louis XIV. My husband made 
all arrangements for the defence of the Chateau, 
being convinced that as soon as night arrived, the 
strange and sinister figures which he saw roaming 
around the streets and the courts would come to- 
gether to pillage the Chateau. Alarmed for my safety, 
in view of the disorder which he foresaw, he insisted 
that I should leave with my aunt. 

We were not willing to go to Paris, because of the 
fear that the gates would be closed upon us and 
that I would find myself separated from my husband 
without the power of rejoining him. My wish would 
have been to remain at Versailles, as, near to my 
husband, I had no fear. But he said that my presence 
would paralyze the efforts which it was his duty to 
make to show himself worthy of the King's con- 
fidence. Finally he persuaded me to set out for Saint- 
Germain and to await events in the apartment of 
Monsieur de Lally, at the Chateau. This apartment 
was that of my family, which my great-aunt, Mile. 
Dillon, had left him entirely furnished. 



We made the trip in a wretched cariole, my aunt 
and I, accompanied by a femme de chambre, origi- 
nally from Saint-Germain. The horses and carriages 
of my father-in-law had been sent to Paris, and it 
was impossible to find at Versailles any other means 
of transport, no matter what sum was offered. The 
trip took us three long hours. 




Residence of Mme. de La Tour du Pin at Paris. The Minister 
of War at the Hotel de Choiseul. Birth of Humbert. 
Kindness of the Queen for Mme. de La Tour du Pin. The 
Fete of the Federation. The Garrison of Paris. Com- 
position of the National Guard. Monsieur de La Fayette. 

Talleyrand, Bishop of Autun. The Spectacle at the 
Champ-de-Mars. The Royal Family. Excursion to 
Switzerland. An Adventure at Dole. Four Days of 
Captivity. Departure from Dole. The Lake of Geneva. 

Revolt of the Garrison of Nancy. Monsieur de La Tour 
du Pin Sent as Parlementaire. Suppression of the Revolt. 

Sojourn at Lausanne. Return to Paris via Alsace. 

AT the end of two weeks I left for Paris where 
I stayed with my aunt, Rue de Verneuil, 
until the Hotel de Choiseul, which had been 
set apart for the War Department, was ready. My 
father-in-law was temporarily quartered in a house 
which belonged, I think, to the Menus plaisirs near 
the Louvre. Every day I went there to dine with 
him and to do the honors of his salon. 

My aunt had persuaded Monsieur Lally, over 
whom she exercised an absolute control, to abandon 
the National Assembly after the Revolution of the 
sixth of October. She also forced him to leave France 
with Monsieur Mounier. They both retired to 



Switzerland. This was a very false move. It was to 
desert their post on the eve of battle. However this 
may be, she followed M. Lally to Switzerland, and 
it was at this time that she persuaded him to marry 
his former mistress, Miss Halkett, niece of Lord 
Loughborough, who was then Lord Chancellor of 
England. It was only for the purpose of legitimatizing 
the daughter whom he had had by this woman several 
years before, that he decided to espouse her, for he 
had for her neither esteem nor love. But at the mo- 
ment of leaving Lausanne to rejoin Miss Halkett at 
Turin, he was taken ill with a terrible attack of 
smallpox, of which he nearly died. The marriage 
was therefore adjourned and did not take place 
until the following year. 

At the beginning of winter we went to take up 
our quarters at the Hotel de Choiseul. It was a 
superb mansion, in which I had a charming apart- 
ment entirely distinct from that of my father-in- 
law, with which it was connected, however, by a 
door into one of the salons. A fine separate stair- 
case led to my quarters, which were like a separate 
house, with a view upon the gardens, which today 
are all built up. My husband, who was entrusted by 
his father with many important matters, was very 
much occupied. I saw him only at luncheon which 
we took together, and at dinner. 

My father-in-law ceased to give large dinners 
when we were at Paris. The dinner hour was four 
o'clock. An hour after dinner, after having chatted 
in the salon with several persons who came for 
coffee, according to the custom at Versailles, my 

C 109] 


father-in-law returned to his cabinet. I then went 
back to my own apartment, whence I went out to 
take part in social functions. 

On arriving in Paris the Queen had given up her 
theatre boxes, and this act of spite, which was 
natural but also very ill-advised, had still further 
turned the Parisians against her. This unfortunate 
Princess had no tact, or did not wish to employ it. 
She openly showed her dislike to those whose presence 
displeased her. In giving way in this manner to feel- 
ings of which she did not weigh the consequences 
she injured the interests of the King. Although en- 
dowed with great courage, she had very little esprit, 
no address, and, above all, a lack of confidence, 
generally unwarranted, with regard to those who 
were the most disposed to serve her. After the sixth 
of October, failing to appreciate that the terrible 
danger which had menaced her was the result of a 
plot woven by the Due d'Orleans, she let her resent- 
ment fall upon all of the inhabitants of Paris in- 
discriminately and avoided every occasion to appear 
in public. 

I missed very much the privilege of using the 
Queen's boxes, and, fearing the crowd, I was not 
present at any performances during the winter of 
1789 and 1790. I often brought together eight or 
ten persons in my apartment for little suppers, in 
which my father-in-law did not take part, for he 
retired at an early hour and arose very early in the 

It was during the first months of 1790 that the 
demagogues employed all their means to corrupt 



the Army. Every day bad news was received, and 
my poor father-in-law was nearly overwhelmed with 
the labor caused by these reports. Many officers left 
France without leave, and this example of indis- 
cipline, of which the other officers took advantage, 
encouraged the revolt. 

The nineteenth of May was born my eldest son, 
who was baptised in the Parish of Saint-Eustache 
and received the name of Humbert. My aunt, Mme. 
d'Henin, who had come from Switzerland, was the 
godmother, and my father-in-law was the godfather. 

At Paris the Court was still conducted in ac- 
cordance with the customs of Versailles, with the 
exception of the mass, which had been abandoned. 
Dinner was served as at Versailles. As soon as I was 
able to leave the house, I paid a visit to the Queen, 
in full costume, and was received by her with great 
kindness. In leaving for Switzerland, Mme. d'Henin 
had resigned her position, and the question came up 
as to whether I should take her place in the Queen's 
service. The Queen, however, was not in favor of 
this, because there was already talk of appointing 
my husband Minister to Holland, and as I would 
naturally accompany him, the Queen did not think 
it was worth while, if my service was to be interrupted 
so soon. "Besides," said she, "who knows that I 
may not expose you to dangers like those of the fifth 
of October?" 

I no longer recall the reasons which inspired the 
idea of having all the military corps of the State 
fraternize, as they called it then, by sending to Paris 


the oldest of each grade to be present the fourteenth 
of July, the anniversary of the taking of the Bastille. 
The National Guards, which had been organized 
throughout the kingdom during the year, were to 
send deputations composed of the officers of the 
highest rank. The preparatory work for receiving 
them was begun at the end of June. The Champ-de- 
Mars, facing the Ecole Militaire, at this time pre- 
sented the appearance of a well-levelled lawn, on 
which were held the exercises of the pupils of the 
school and the manoeuvres of the regiments of the 
Gardes Francaises. 

At that time there was no garrison, either at Paris 
or in the environs. The Gardes Francaises were the 
only body of troops in the city, and their number did 
not exceed, I think, two thousand men at the most. 
They furnished a detachment at Versailles which 
was changed every week. At Courbevoie there was 
quartered the regiment of Swiss Guards, which was 
never seen at Paris. The Gardes du Corps were com- 
posed of four companies, of which only one was in 
service at Versailles. The others occupied the neigh- 
boring cities : Chartres, Beauvais and Saint-Germain. 
No other body of troops ever appeared either at 
Versailles or at Paris, where the only uniforms you 
saw were those of the ser gents recruteurs for the 
different regiments. 

My husband had been instructed by his father to 
look after all the deputations and to arrange for 
their board and lodging, as well as their amusements, 
for all the theatres had orders to reserve free places 
for the old soldiers and boxes for the officers. A large 



1749 - 1626 


number were lodged in the Invalides and the Ecole 
Militaire. The people of Paris took part enthusi- 
astically in the work undertaken at the Champ-de- 
Mars. All was finished in two weeks. 

Finally on the evening of the thirteenth of July, 
my sister-in-law, who had just arrived at Paris, and 
myself went to take up our quarters at the Ecole 
Militaire, in a little apartment looking out upon the 
Champ-de-Mars, so as to be on hand the following 
morning. My father-in-law had sent in a fine repast, 
and provisions, so as to offer a substantial dejeuner 
to the soldiers who might have the intention of com- 
ing to see us during the ceremony. This precaution 
was all the more necessary, because at the Tuileries 
they had forgotten to bring anything for the King's 
children, and the Dauphin was very glad to share our 
collation. The poor little Prince wore the uniform of 
the National Guard, to which nearly every one at 
that time belonged. In society all the men under 
fifty years of age had had their names inscribed, and 
performed very faithfully their service. 

Monsieur de La Fayette, who has been so much 
condemned, did not then think of a republic for 
France, whatever may have been the ideas as to 
this kind of government that he had brought back 
from America. He desired as much as any of us the 
establishment of a wise liberty and the abolition of 
abuses, but I am certain that he had not at that time 
the least idea or desire of overturning the throne, 
and that he never had such a thought. The unbounded 
hatred which the Queen had for him, and which she 
showed every time that she dared, nevertheless 


caused him as much chagrin as was possible in the 
case of a character which was soft even to foolishness. 
Yet La Fayette was not weak, as his conduct under 
the Empire has well proved. He resisted all the ap- 
proaches, all the offers and even the cajolery of 
Napoleon. The Restoration showed itself very unjust 
towards him. The Duchesse d'Angouleme had in- 
herited from her mother the hatred which the Queen 
bore him. 

But to return to the Federation of 1790. The altar 
had been erected in the Champ-de-Mars, and a mass 
was celebrated by the least respectable of the French 
priests. The Abbe de Perigord, since Prince Talley- 
rand, had been designated as Bishop of Autun when 
Monsieur Marboeuf was transferred to the diocese 
of Lyon. The King, however, justly offended by his 
ecclesiastical conduct, refused to confirm the appoint- 
ment. In this refusal the King showed a firmness 
very different from his ordinary character, but 
aroused on this occasion by his conscience. However, 
when the Comte de Talleyrand, father of the Abbe, 
was upon his deathbed and demanded as a last 
favor this appointment, which the King had previ- 
ously refused, he no longer made any opposition, 
and the Abbe de Perigord was appointed Bishop of 
Autun. It was he who celebrated the mass of the 
Federation of 1790. 

No words can give any idea of this pageant. The 
troops, arranged in order in the middle of the arena, 
the multitude of different uniforms, mingled with 
those of the National Guard, brilliant from their 
newness, all this constituted one of the most sur- 


prising spectacles which you could possibly see, and 
which I enjoyed from the windows of the Ecole 
Militaire, where I was located. In front of the middle 
balcony had been constructed a fine tribune, highly 
decorated. The unfortunate Royal family this day 
comprised the King, the Queen, their two children, 
Mme. Elisabeth, the sister of the King, and the 
Comte and Comtesse de Provence. As I was still 
very weak, I did not descend to the Royal tribune. 
Nevertheless, I was near the Queen when she passed, 
and, accustomed for a long time to the expression of 
her face, I saw that she was making great efforts 
to conceal her ill-humor, without succeeding well 
enough either for her own interests or for those of 
the King. 

Towards the end of July, 1790, my health was 
quite well reestablished. My aunt wished to return 
to Lausanne, and my husband, knowing my desire 
to see Switzerland, gave me permission to make a 
trip of six weeks. Mme. de Valence was at this time 
at Secheron, near Geneva, with Mme. de Montesson, 
who passed the summer there. It was arranged that 
I should join her and pass some time with her in a 
little house which was separate from that of my aunt. 
I left my son with his nurse and Marguerite at the 
Hotel de la Guerre. As my maid could not accompany 
me, I took with me only one servant. I travelled by a 
little chaise de paste , for caleches were not then known. 

My aunt and I were furnished with all possible 
passports for the civil authorities, as well as for the 
National Guards and the military authorities. An 



act of imprudence on the part of my aunt nearly 
cost us very dear. The post where we were to change 
horses at Dole was outside the city upon the route 
to Besancon. Accordingly, we passed through the 
city by a quiet street without any trouble. Arrived 
at the post, my aunt inquired of the maitre de poste 
if this route led to Geneva. He replied that to take 
the route to Geneva, that of the Rousses, it was 
necessary to recross the city. In vain I suggested to 
my aunt that our passports stated that we were to 
leave France by Pontarlier. She said that that was 
of no importance, and as soon as the horses were 
attached, gave the order to turn back and recross 
the city to gain the route of Rousses under the pretext 
that she had given a rendez-vous at Geneva to 
Monsieur Lally. 

Accordingly, we reentered the city. We were igno- 
rant of the fact that it was necessary to pass through 
the market, which was being held upon a large square. 
Forced to go at a walk, in order to avoid the market 
baskets and the persons in the street, we were re- 
ceived with abuse. Suddenly a voice exclaimed: 
"C'est la Reine!" At once we were stopped, our 
horses were unhitched, our courier was dragged from 
his horse, and there were cries of "A la lanterne!" 
They opened the door of the carriage and ordered 
us to descend, which we did, not without fear. I 
stated that I was the daughter of the Minister of 
War and demanded that they should take me to the 
commander of the place or send to look for him. My 
aunt said that she had a letter from Monsieur de La 
Fayette for the commander of the National Guard. 



"There is his house," cried some one, and we saw 
two sentinels at a door over which floated a large 
tricolored flag. It was only a few steps away, and my 
aunt and I entered the house, where the crowd of 
people did not dare to follow us. We went through 
an ante-chamber, without finding any one. From 
there we entered a dining-room where there was a 
table laid out with seven or eight covers. The guests 
had left precipitately, and two or three over-turned 
chairs testified to the haste with which they had 
disappeared. My aunt refused to go farther, but rang 
a bell, which she had noticed, in the hope that some 
one would appear. As we had had no dejeuner, we 
sat down at the table and commenced to eat the 
dinner which had been abandoned. An excellent meal 
satisfied our hunger, while we laughed over our ad- 
venture and the cowardice of the chief of the National 

Finally, after waiting three hours, there entered a 
grave personage, a kind of fat bourgeois, accompanied 
by two or three other men. This individual addressed 
my aunt and demanded her name. Then, pointing to 
me, he said: "This young lady is your daughter?" 
She replied that I was the daughter-in-law of the 
Minister of War; that I knew that there was a regi- 
ment of cavalry in garrison at Dole ; that I wished to 
speak to the commander who would arrange, with- 
out doubt, with the President of the Cummune that 
we should be set at liberty. The person who had ap- 
proached us stated that he himself was the President 
of the Commune. My aunt, seeing that they wished 
to keep us prisoners, suggested, as a means of clear- 


ing the matter up, that a servant should be sent as a 
courier to Paris, and demanded that while awaiting 
his return we should be authorized to establish our- 
selves at an inn. One of the members of the Commune 
who accompanied the President, proposed to take us 
to his house. This asylum seemed more certain than 
an inn, where we might be insulted by the people. 
Upon our consenting, he offered me his arm, and leav- 
ing this inhospitable house, where we had eaten our 
dinner without invitation, we were conducted by our 
host to a mansion where we were lodged in rooms 
which, although common, were quite good. Here we 
were rejoined by the maid and our three servants. 

We at once wrote to Paris about our misadventure, 
my aunt to Monsieur de La Fayette and I to my 
husband. Our host advised us not to attempt to go 
out, and we resigned ourselves to remaining in this 
dismal lodging on the ground floor, looking out on a 
very small garden where the sun hardly penetrated 
at midday. 

The next morning two members of the Commune 
came to interrogate us. They asked a thousand 
questions and examined our papers and writing port- 
folios. They demanded an account of everything we 
had in our chaise de paste , also why I had so many 
new shoes, if I was only going to pass six weeks in 
Switzerland, as I had stated, and hundreds of other 
similar absurdities which caused me to laugh in their 
faces. Finally the thought occurred to me to say to 
them that the officers of the city sent to Paris to the 
Federation, and who ought to be back with their 
regiment, having probably dined with my father-in- 



law, would recognize me. This idea appeared to them 
a brilliant one and they went to look for the officers. 

Towards the end of our first day of seclusion there 
arrived the officers of Royal-Etranger who offered me 
the services of their protection. I prayed the officers 
to conceal their dissatisfaction, but I could not 
prevent them from coming every day to call, one 
after another. At the end of the fourth day the 
members of the Municipality made up their minds 
that they had made a foolish mistake in arresting 
us and gave us permission to set out. It required 
several hours to repack our carriages, and as we wished 
to stop for the night at Nyon, we resolved not to set 
out before the next morning at five o'clock. The next 
day, with many thanks to the officers for their polite- 
ness, we took the road for the Jura. 

Our triumph came that very evening. The Presi- 
dent of the National Assembly wrote the Mayor, 
or President of the Commune, by a courier sent 
expressly, a very strong reprimand on account 
of our arrest. Monsieur de La Fayette also sent a 
message to the commander of the National Guard. 
My father-in-law entrusted our safety to the Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel commanding the place. For our part, 
we were glad to escape by a prompt retreat from the 
honors which they wished to shower upon us to make 
up for our unjust detention. 

We arrived at Nyon at midnight after having 
passed the frontier without difficulty. My aunt did 
not find Monsieur Lally there. He was at Secheron, 
where it was arranged that we should go the next 


The next day we arrived at Secheron, where we 
found Monsieur Lally and Monsieur Mounier. Here 
I received letters from my husband, who seemed to be 
disturbed by the revolt of several garrisons in Lor- 
raine in particular of that of Nancy. This news, 
however, did not arouse my anxiety. Monsieur 
Mounier persuaded my aunt to make a visit to 
Chamonix, and we set out the next day and did not 
return to Geneva before the end of five or six days. 
On our return to Secheron, I found a letter from my 
husband which had been forwarded to me from 
Lausanne, where he thought I was with my aunt. 
He announced his departure for Nancy to carry orders 
from the King to Monsieur de Bouille. Their tenor 
was that he should unite several French and Swiss 
regiments and march on Nancy. 

At Rolle, where we stopped to refresh our horses, 
we learned at the inn that Monsieur Plantamour of 
Geneva was there and that he was en route for 
Nancy. My aunt asked to speak to him in private, 
In a few minutes he entered the room where I was, 
and I observed that he was very much troubled, 
which increased my anxiety. He told me that there 
had been fighting at Nancy, but that details were 
lacking. We continued our route to Lausanne, and 
on arriving there Monsieur Lally, who had preceded 
us, gave me several letters from my husband, written 
after his return to Paris. In these letters he told me 
everything which had occurred at Nancy. As these 
details belong to the domain of history, I shall not 
relate them here. 

While these events were happening at Nancy, I 


was at Lausanne, where I passed two weeks and en- 
joyed myself very much. Here I encountered a cele- 
brated person Mr. Gibbon whose grotesque face 
gave me such a desire to laugh that it was difficult 
to control myself. There were also many emigres at 
Lausanne. As I did not enjoy myself in their society, 
as soon as Mme. Montesson was established at 
Paquis, near Geneva, I hastened to rejoin her, and 
went to lodge with Mme. Valence in a little house 
distinct from that of Mme. Montesson. 

The inn of Secheron was then very popular. Many 
of the emigres whom I knew were settled there for 
the summer. Several young men, after having ac- 
companied the Comte d'Artois to Turin, already 
tired of Piemont, had come to Switzerland. 

Fortunately I remained only three or four weeks 
at Geneva, or rather Paquis. My husband came to 
join me and take me back to Paris. As he was in a 
hurry and wished to return by way of Alsace, in order 
to meet Monsieur Bouille, we left Geneva at an early 
hour in the morning so as to have several hours 
to visit Berne and Bale. Monsieur Bouille came to 
meet us between Huningue and Neuf-Brisach, and I 
waited patiently in the carriage while my husband 
talked with him in walking up and down the high- 
way. After a morning devoted to Strasbourg, we 
passed the night at Saverne and from there went to 
Nancy. From Nancy we made the trip to Paris with- 
out stopping, and upon my return I found my dear 
boy in good health and looking well and handsome. 



Sojourn at Paris. Monsieur de La Tour du Pin Leaves the 
Ministry of War. His Son Refuses the Post. Is Named 
as Minister to Holland. Residence at Rue de Varenne. 
The Flight of the Royal Family. Departure for Holland. 
The Lameth Family. Life of Pleasure at The Hague. 
Recall of Monsieur de La Tour du Pin. Decree against 
the Emigres. Flight of La Fayette. Mme. de La Tour 
du Pin Returns to France. 

I RESUMED my life at Paris, at the Hotel de la 
Guerre. Nearly every morning I rode on horse- 
back accompanied by my cousin, Dominique 
Sheldon. I often went to the theatre with young Mme. 
de Noailles, whose mother, Mme. Laborde, did not 
go out. Every day my father-in-law became more 
disgusted with the Ministry. Nearly all the regiments 
of the army were in a state of revolt. The greater part 
of the officers, instead of opposing the efforts of the 
Revolutionists with consistent firmness, sent in their 
resignations and left France. Emigration became a 
point of honor. The officers who remained with their 
regiments received letters from those who had em- 
igrated, reproaching them for cowardice and lack of 
attachment to the Royal family. They endeavored to 
make them see that it was their duty to abandon 
their sovereign. They promised them the interven- 



tion of enormous armies of foreigners. The King, 
whose feebleness was equal to his goodness, hesitated 
to arrest this torrent. It thus happened that every 
day saw the departure of some members of his party 
or even of his household. 

My father-in-law, who was powerless against the 
intrigues of the Assembly, and who did not find in 
the King the firmness which he had the right to ex- 
pect, resolved to leave the Ministry. This he did 
on the fifteenth of November, 1790. It was proposed 
that my husband should succeed him. He had just 
finished a plan for the reorganization of the Army, 
which was entirely his own work. The King himself 
felt that the author of this plan was capable of putting 
it in operation. My husband refused. He did not 
wish to succeed his father for fear that the matter 
would be misinterpreted. 

It was at this time, in the last days of December, 
1790, that he was given the place of Minister Pleni- 
potentiary to Holland. It was arranged, however, 
that he should not join his post before the King had 
accepted the Constitution, which the National As- 
sembly expected to finish before the end of the winter. 

Having left the Hotel de la Guerre, we went to 
live in the house of my aunt, Mme. d'Henin, Rue de 
Varenne, near the Rue du Bac. She had had trans- 
ported here all the furniture from the Rue de Ver- 
neuil, where she had given up her lease. This house 
was very convenient. We lived here with my sister- 
in-law, Mme. de Lameth, her two children and my 
father-in-law. My husband kept the saddle-horses 
and a coupe horse for himself. My father-in-law did 

[123 ] 


not wish to have any carriage. He kept only two 
carriage horses for my sister-in-law and myself. Mme. 
de Lameth hardly ever went out in the evening, but 
she went every morning to the sittings of the As- 
sembly, which were held in the Riding School of the 
Tuileries. The National Assembly had taken up its 
quarters in this place at the time it was transferred 
from Versailles to Paris. 

I occasionally went to meetings which I thought 
would interest me, but not regularly like my sister- 
in-law. My mornings were employed more usefully. 
I had a master of design, one of singing, one for 
Italian and, if the weather was good, I rode horse- 
back from three o'clock to nightfall. When my cousin 
Sheldon was able to accompany me, I went to the 
Bois de Boulogne, but more often I went by the Plaine 
de Crenelle to the Bois de Meudon, and those days I 
rode a thoroughbred who was very lively and whose 
manners pleased me very much. But it was difficult 
to manage him in the Bois de Boulogne, because he 
would not allow another horse before him and was 
always ready to run away. 

In the spring of 1791 my husband made his prep- 
arations to leave for Holland. We packed up our 
effects, and our boxes were sent to Rotterdam by sea. 
We sold our saddle-horses and set out with our son 
and his nurse for Henencourt where my sister-in-law 
was staying. Monsieur de La Tour du Pin came to 
pass some time there and then returned to Paris to 
finish up his business. At Paris he was informed by 
Monsieur Montmorin that the King did not wish 
him to leave for his post until the day after the 


Constitution, which was to be presented to him, had 
received the royal sanction. My husband therefore 
remained at Paris. I went to rejoin him for several 
days to see the indecent funeral procession of Voltaire 
when his remains were taken to the Pantheon. 

I was living quietly at Henencourt with my sister- 
in-law, when my negro servant, Zamore, entered my 
room at about nine o'clock one morning in a state of 
great excitement. He informed me that two strangers 
had passed in front of the gate who stated that the 
evening before, the King, his children, the Queen and 
Mme. Elisabeth had left Paris and that it was not 
known where they had gone. This news troubled me 
very much, and I wished to speak with these men. I 
ran to the gate of the court, but they had already 
disappeared, and no one knew what had become of 

My anxiety was very great, as I was afraid that my 
husband might be compromised. Therefore I de- 
cided to send Zamore to Paris as a courier to ob- 
tain some definite news. An hour later he set out, 
but before he returned I received by mail a word 
from my husband which confirmed the news. My 
brother-in-law returned from Amiens, where he was 
at the time, and we passed two days in a state of 
agitation which nothing can describe. Ignorant of the 
outcome of this adventure, the days seemed like 
centuries. My brother-in-law would not allow us to 
go to Amiens for fear that they might close the city 
gates and that we would not be able to return to the 
country. We hoped that the King had passed the 
frontier, but we did not dare to calculate the effect 


that this event would cause in Paris. My anxiety for 
my husband was intense, but I did not dare to go to 
rejoin him because he had forbidden me to do so. On 
the third day, at evening, we learned by a man who 
had come from Amiens that the King had been ar- 
rested and taken back as a prisoner to Paris. An hour 
later Zamore arrived bringing a long letter from my 
husband, who was in despair. 

I will not attempt to relate the details of this un- 
fortunate flight, so badly organized. The memoirs of 
the time have recounted all the circumstances. This 
whole affair, originated by Monsieur Fersen, who 
was a fool, was one succession of mistakes and 

It was only after a seclusion of two months that 
the King decided to accept the Constitution which 
had been presented to him. My husband had drawn 
up a long memorandum, written entirely in his own 
hand but not signed, in which he implored the King 
to refuse to sign. This memorandum, which was 
handed by my husband, personally, to the King, 
was found after the tenth of August in the famous 
Armoire de Per. The King had written at the top: 

"Handed me by Monsieur G to advise me to 

refuse the Constitution." Later it was generally sup- 
posed that the initial was that of Monsieur Gouvion 
who was killed in one of the first combats of the war. 

After the acceptance of the Constitution, during 
the session of the Legislative Assembly there were 
several months of respite, and I am persuaded that 
if war had not been declared, if the emigres had re- 
turned as the King seemed to desire, the excesses of 



the Revolution would have been arrested. But the 
King and Queen believed in the good faith of the 
Powers. Every party was deceived, and France saw 
and found glory in the defence of its territory. As 
Napoleon said to Sieves: "Si j'avais ete a la place de 
La Fayette, le roi serait encore sur le trone, et vous, 
1'abbe, vous seriez trop heureux de me dire la messe." 

We set out for The Hague at the beginning of 
October, 1791. My sister-in-law accompanied us with 
her two sons and their tutor. My sister-in-law's 
health was very bad, for the consumption of which 
she died the following year had already made much 
progress. As she was very fond of society, the thought 
of spending the winter alone at Henencourt was in- 
supportable. She no longer had an establishment at 
Paris. Until the Revolution she had lived with her 
whole family at the Hotel de Lameth, Rue Notre- 
Dame-des-Champs. There the mother of the four 
Lameth brothers, who was a sister of Marechal de 
Broglie, had brought up her children. The Marechal 
had placed the boys in four different regiments, and 
the three youngest had taken part with distinction 
in the American war, in which one of them, Charles, 
had been severely wounded. My husband's brother- 
in-law, the eldest of the four, had retired to the 
country, after having resigned as Colonel of the regi- 
ment of the Couronne-Infanterie. The second brother, 
Theodore, also left the army and is still living at the 
time these lines are written (1841). The third, Charles, 
had married Mile. Picot, the only daughter and heir of 
a planter of Saint-Domingue and lived at Bayonne. 

In 1787 the French embassy had been driven from 


Holland, and the Comte de Saint-Priest had retired 
to Antwerp. France was only represented at The 
Hague by a charge d'affaires, Monsieur Caillard, who 
was a consummate diplomat. He was very useful to 
my husband, who until then had never occupied him- 
self with diplomacy, except in reading history which 
was his favorite study. 

When we arrived at The Hague, in the month of 
October, 1791, the Stadtholder was at Berlin where 
he had gone to attend the marriage of his eldest son 
to the young Princess of Prussia. He returned to The 
Hague several months later, and then there began a 
series of fetes, balls and suppers, and diversions of 
every kind, which were very pleasant for my twenty- 
one years. I had brought many elegant things with 
me from France and I soon became very much in 
vogue. They tried to copy me in everything. I danced 
very well and my success at the balls was very great. 
I enjoyed it like a child. No thought of the morrow 
bothered me. At all the social reunions I was the 
first. The Princesse d'Orange did not object to being 
dressed like me and to have her hair dressed by my 
valet de chambre. In short, this life of success, which 
was to last so short a time, intoxicated me. 

When Dumouriez was appointed Minister of 
Foreign Affairs in the month of March, 1792, his 
first care was to avenge himself for I know not 
what personal discontent which had been caused 
him by my father-in-law during the time he was 
Minister. He therefore recalled my husband under 
the false pretext that he had not shown sufficient 
firmness in demanding reparation for a pretended 


insult made to the National flag of France. As soon 
as we received the news of our recall, we at once 
leased a pretty little unfurnished house, for our- 
selves, my sister-in-law and her children. She did 
not wish to return to France and preferred to remain 
with me at The Hague. During the day all the furni- 
ture which belonged to us, and which we did not wish 
to sell, was transported to this house. The rest of 
our effects, as well as the wines, the service of porce- 
lain, the horses and carriages, remained at the Hotel 
de France to be placed on sale after the arrival of 
the new Minister, in case he did not wish to acquire 
them from us. As my husband had no secretary of 
legation, because Monsieur Caillard had been sent 
to Petersbourg as charge d'affaires, he placed the 
archives in the hands of his own private secretary, 
who was none other than Monsieur Combes, my 
former instructor. 

Monsieur de La Tour du Pin then left for England 
to see my father who had just arrived there, in order 
to persuade him to rejoin us at The Hague. From 
there he went to Paris, whence he wrote me by every 
mail letters which were more and more alarming. 

Monsieur de Maulde, who had been appointed 
Minister to The Hague, arrived at his post about the 
tenth of August and was very badly received. No 
one paid any visits to him, except the Ambassador 
of England, which power was not yet at war with 
France. He did not wish to buy any of our effects, 
and sent his secretary to notify me of his refusal to 
allow us to have the auction sale of our things held 


in the salons of the ground floor of the Hotel de 

As the weather was fine, I obtained permission to 
have the sale of our things held upon the Petit 
Voorhout, a charming promenade before the door of 
the Embassy. This auction was an event at The 
Hague. All my friends were present, and the smallest 
things were sold at a very high price. I received a 
sum of money which was more than double what 
everything had cost us. The proceeds of the sale were 
put in the hands of Monsieur Moliere, a trustworthy 
Dutch banker. He took care of the money, and later 
on sent it to me in America. 

Mme. d'Henin, my aunt, had emigrated to England 
and was very anxious to have me come there and 
join her, but the health of my sister-in-law was 
visibly declining and I did not wish to leave her. On 
the other hand, my father-in-law was thinking of 
joining us in Holland. My husband passed several 
days at The Hague between the tenth of August and 
the massacres of September, 1792. Then his father 
recalled him to London to be with him. 

During the last days of November, 1792, the Con- 
vention adopted a decree against the emigres and 
fixed a short term in which they could return to 
France, under pain of confiscation. My excellent 
father-in-law was in England and was thinking of 
joining us at The Hague where his daughter and I 
were awaiting him with impatience. But the news of 
this decree changed his plans. He wrote us that he 
was not willing to injure the interests of his children 


on account of any personal consideration and that he 
should return to Paris. 

I do not know why I neglected to speak of the 
flight of Messieurs de La Fayette, Alexandre de 
Lameth and de La Tour-Maubourg. All three secretly 
left the corps d'armee commanded by Monsieur de 
La Fayette, to pass into foreign territory, with a 
foolish confidence which it would be difficult to ex- 
plain. Having presented themselves at the advance 
posts of the Austrians, they were at once arrested. 
The Austrians wished to use them as hostages to 
guarantee the safety of the King and his family, who 
had been confined in the Temple since the day of the 
tenth of August. Monsieur Alexandre de Lameth had 
permission to write to his sister-in-law who was then 
with me at The Hague, as I have already said, in 
order to ask for money. Monsieur de La Fayette, for 
his part, wrote to Mr. Short, the American Minister 
at The Hague. A man named Dulong, who had been 
for many years in the service of the French Legation, 
had undertaken to arrange the escape of Monsieur de 
La Fayette who was imprisoned at Liege. For this 
purpose it was necessary for him to have at least 
25,000 francs. Mr. Short, although he was a rich man, 
refused to advance the sum. Accordingly, Monsieur 
de La Fayette was transferred with his two com- 
panions to the prison of Olmutz, where he remained 
until the Treaty of Campo-Formio (October, 1797). 

At the end of the Terror, Mme. de La Fayette went 
to Vienna, accompanied by her two daughters, and ob- 
tained permission from the Emperor of Austria to be 
shut up at Olmutz with her husband and to undergo 


all the rigours of his fate. Almost by a miracle, she 
had escaped the scaffold upon which perished on the 
same day, (22 July 1794), her grandmother, her 
mother and her sister. In her voluntary captivity, she 
showed a resignation and a courage which only 
religion could have inspired. Nevertheless, she had 
never been treated by her husband except with the 
most cruel indifference, and she certainly could not 
have forgotten the numerous infidelities of which he 
had been guilty. 

My father commanded the corps d'armee es- 
tablished in camp between Quesnoy and Valenciennes. 
At the news of the events of the month of August 
1792 at Paris the attack on the Tuileries and the 
overthrow of the Monarchy he had addressed an 
order of the day to the troops, prescribing the renewal 
of the oath of fidelity to the King which he himself 
took at the same time. The result of this noble profes- 
sion of faith was his removal, the 23 August, 1792, 
with the order to report at Paris. My endeavors to 
prevent this remained fruitless and my fears were 
only too well justified. I have always reproached my- 
self because I did not go to find him and force him to 
return with me to The Hague. God had decided other- 
wise! Poor father! He perished on the scaffold, 13 
April, 1794. 

As I owned a house at Paris, occupied by the 
Swedish Ambassador, and had an income from the 
State, or from the City of Paris, my husband was 
afraid that my name would be put upon the list of 
emigres which was about to appear. He therefore 


sent to me at The Hague a very faithful valet de 
chambre to accompany me on my return to Paris 
and charged him to tell me that I would find at the 
Belgian frontier, several leagues from Antwerp, a 
former aide de camp of my father, provided with an 
order to secure my safety, and that this man would 
escort me if necessary. I made my adieux to my poor 
sister-in-law, who died two months later, and set out 
in company with my son, aged two years and a half, 
my faithful Marguerite, a valet de chambre and my 
negro, Zamore. The winter which had just com- 
menced rendered the journey very disagreeable. 

The first day of December, 1792, buried in the 
back of an excellent berline, well enveloped with furs 
and bear skins, I left The Hague, to pass the first 
night, I think, at Gorkum. During the whole day we 
heard the noise of cannon. My valet de chambre 
thought that this noise must come from the French 
who were besieging the city of Antwerp, but that it 
would take them a long time to capture the city as 
the garrison was very strong and the city well 
provisioned. The next day, at Breda, a city situated 
also in Holland, there was the same noise of cannon- 
ade. As no alarming news was published, I set out, 
nevertheless, without fear and found, at the Austrian 
frontier of the Low-Countries, Monsieur Schnetz, a 
brave officer and friend of my father's whose presence 
gave me great pleasure. Arrived there the evening 
before, he had been astonished that there was no 
news from Antwerp. He said laughingly, but without 
really believing it, that perhaps the city had been 
taken. However, about midday, the noise of the 


cannon having ceased, he then declared that this 
rampart of the Austrian power had capitulated, which 
was indeed true. On arriving at the French post, at 
the exterior gate of the city, we learned that the 
French were masters of this great fortress. On arriving 
at the Hotel du Grand Laboureur upon the large 
Place Meir, we had much trouble in obtaining a 
room. It was only due to the intervention of a general, 
whose name escapes me, that an officer gave up for me 
the room in which he was already installed, from which 
he had his baggage taken out with rather bad grace. 

In the morning Monsieur Schnetz informed me 
that we must set out for Mons, where we were to 
pass the night, as had been arranged. I was so upset 
by the events of the previous day, that I did not 
venture to request the privilege of passing the next 
night at Brussels, which would have permitted me 
to see my aunt, Lady Jerningham, who was then in 
this city with her daughter. It was therefore arranged 
that we should only change horses at Brussels. 

In leaving Antwerp, I was struck by the originality 
of a spectacle new to me. Between the advance lines 
of the fortifications and the first post, at Contich, 
we passed through the entire French army, which 
was in bivouac there. These conquerors, who had al- 
ready caused the armies of Austria and Prussia to 
tremble, had all the appearance of a horde of bandits. 
The greater part were without uniforms. The Con- 
vention had had manufactured in haste for the 
soldiers caps of cloth of the most varied colors, for 
which they had requisitioned the material from all 
the shops of Paris and the large cities. The officers 


only were in uniform, but their uniforms had none 
of the brilliant embroideries of which Napoleon later 
on was so prodigal. 

Forced to go almost at a walk, the route to me ap- 
peared very long. The highways had been cut up by 
the artillery and were encumbered by wagons, 
caissons and cannon. We proceeded slowly, in the 
midst of the cries and the oaths of the charretiers and 
the gross pleasantries of the soldiers. I saw that 
Schnetz was disturbed and that he regretted that we 
had not taken an escort. Finally, at nightfall, we 
reached Malines, where we passed the night quietly, 
although there were still many troops. 

The following morning, we set out for Brussels 
which we were to pass through without stop. But 
Monsieur de Chabrillan, commandant of the city, 
thought otherwise. At the moment that the horses 
were ready and after Schnetz had already had our 
passports vised, there arrived an order from the 
general that I should be detained. The horses were 
unhitched, and when I wished to descend from the 
carriage to look for a shelter in the maison de poste, 
I found sentinels placed at the two doors of the 
carriage who prevented me. Schnetz immediately 
went to the general headquarters to demand the 
reason for this vexatious delay. 

Finally, at the end of three hours, the general author- 
ized my departure, without having condescended 
to explain this singular abuse of authority. He was 
a man of the world whom I had met a hundred times in 
society without ever having spoken to him. He was 
verv short-sighted and had a very revolutionary spirit. 

C 135 ] " 


I was not yet at the end of my alarms. On arriving 
late at Mons, we had much trouble in finding a 
lodging. All the inns were full. At last in one place 
we succeeded in finding two little rooms for my maid 
and myself which were located in a very low first 
story, looking out upon the street. The officers who 
occupied them had just left. Schnetz and my two 
domestics were to sleep at the end of a very large 
court, so that my maid and I were separated from 
them. This arrangement was very far from pleasing 
me, but it was necessary to submit. I therefore lay 
down on the bed without undressing. During the 
night I was disturbed and alarmed by officers who 
endeavored to enter my room. 

The following morning, shortly after our de- 
parture, we met an escadron composed entirely of 
negroes, all of whom were well mounted and perfectly 
equipped. They were commanded by the handsome 
negro of the Due d'Orleans (Egalite). His name was 
Edouard and he was well acquainted with my negro, 
Zamore, who asked my permission to spend the day 
with his friends. I was afraid that they would en- 
deavor to persuade him to join them and that I 
should never see him again, but I was mistaken. 
This worthy fellow was very well treated by his 
comrades during the day, but at night he rejoined me. 

The remainder of my journey passed without any 
circumstances worthy of being reported. Monsieur 
Schnetz left me at Peronne, and I continued my 
route to Henencourt where I found my brother-in- 
law, the Marquis de Lameth. 



Vexations of Travel in France. Residence at Passy. The 
21 January, 1793. Portrait of Monsieur Arthur Dillon. 
Retirement to Le Bouilh. Bordeaux and the Federation. 
Arrest of Monsieur de La Tour du Pin Pere. His Son 
and Daughter-in-Law Take Refuge at Canoles with Mon- 
sieur de Brouquens. The Guillotine at Bordeaux. 
Birth of Seraphine. Flight of Monsieur de La Tour du 
Pin. Arrest of Monsieur de Brouquens. Confrontation 
of the Queen and the Former Minister of War. Precipitate 
Departure of his Son from Le Bouilh. Three Months of 
Forced Retirement at Mirambeau. 

I ARRIVED very late at Henencourt where, as 
already stated, I found my brother-in-law. He 
was very much depressed over his personal situa- 
tion and was well satisfied that his wife and children 
were out of France. It was arranged that I should 
stop only twenty-four hours at Henencourt, in order 
to take the papers which would permit me to reach 
Paris in safety, among others, an attestation of my 
sojourn at Henencourt since the recall of Monsieur 
de La Tour du Pin. My hope that my husband would 
come to meet me was disappointed, for already it 
was both difficult and dangerous to travel in France. 
Not only was a passport necessary, but, to obtain 
this, it was essential to be accompanied by sureties 



who, upon their own responsibility, testified that you 
were not going in a direction different from that 
indicated. Besides this, in order to enter the environs 
of Paris, it was necessary to be fortified with a carte 
de surete, of which each post of the National Guard 
had the right to demand the production. In short, 
a thousand little vexations added to great ones 
rendered a sojourn in France insupportable. 

I therefore set out alone from Henencourt and 
arrived without trouble at Passy the following day. 
The maitre de poste of Saint-Denis commenced by 
refusing peremptorily to conduct me to Passy where I 
wished to go, under the pretext that as my passport 
was for Paris, it was necessary to conduct me there 
by the shortest route. After an hour of conferences 
and explanations, during the course of which I was 
afraid of compromising myself, as I was not used to 
this sort of thing, my valet de chambre had the happy 
thought of showing his own carte de surete for Passy, 
and, upon the payment of an extra sum, they allowed 
us to leave. 

At Passy I finally rejoined my husband who was 
established in a house belonging to Mme. de Poix. 
As this dwelling was too large for our household, we 
were enabled to close the windows on the street, 
thus giving the idea that the house was uninhabited. 
We entered by the small door used by the concierge. 
The house had two or three other exits and therefore 
constituted a good refuge, especially as it was the 
last dwelling of the village on the side of Auteuil, 
which enabled us easily to join my father-in-law who 
had been settled in this last named locality since his 


return from England. The house which he occupied 
was named La Tuilerie. It was isolated and situated 
between Auteuil and Passy. Fortunately we could go 
there by byways where we never encountered any one. 
An old cabriolet and a wretched horse conducted us 
to Paris, without the necessity of letting the public 
coachmen into the secret of our retreat. 

Every day after our dejeuner, I went to Paris with 
my husband who was occupied with his own affairs and 
those of his father. We nearly always took our dinner 
in the city, either with my father or with Mme. de 
Montesson whose house was always open to us. 

My father who was living in a furnished hotel in 
the Chaussee-d'Antin was giving all his time to the 
service of the King, endeavoring to organize the party 
which was later known as the Girondins. To them he 
pointed out that their best interests lay in preserving 
the life of the King, of arranging his escape from Paris, 
and then of guarding him as hostage in some city of 
the interior where he would not be able to communi- 
cate either with foreign powers, or with the Royalists, 
who were then commencing to organize in the Vendee. 
But the party of Terrorists was too strong for any 
human efforts to thwart its terrible intentions. 

My unfortunate father made his strongest efforts 
with Dumouriez, who came to Paris about the middle 
of January, but was deceived by the latter with vain 
promises. Dumouriez was entirely committed to the 
party of Egalite and his son of whom he boasted 
that he was the military tutor. His trip to Paris had 
no other end than that of serving the Orleans Princes. 

I will not attempt to relate all of the series of 



anxieties and discouragements through which we 
passed during the month of January, 1793. These 
events belong to the domain of history and have 
been related by the historians in the light of their 
own opinions. My only idea is to clear the memory 
of my father from the odious imputations with which 
they have not hesitated to tarnish his honorable 
character. He only saw the judges of Louis XVI 
with the hope of saving, if not the liberty, the life 
of the King; and the very morning of his sentence, 
he thought it certain that a vote of imprisonment 
until the end of the war was assured. During this 
memorable meeting, we remained at home in a state 
of anxiety which no words can express. When the 
sentence was known and we had left my father, we 
still hoped that an insurrection would break out. 

The morning of the twenty-first of January, the 
gates of Paris were closed with orders to make no 
reply to those who demanded the reason. We under- 
stood the meaning of this only too well, and my 
husband and I, leaning out of the window of our 
house, which overlooked Paris, listened for the sound 
of musketry which would bring to us the hope that 
so great a crime would not be committed without 
opposition. In a state of stupor, we hardly dared to 
address a word to each other. Alas, the greatest 
silence continued to reign in the regicidal city. At 
half-past ten, the gates were opened and everything 
resumed its ordinary course. A great nation had 
stained its annals with a crime for which the centu- 
ries would reproach it, and not even the course of 
life had been changed. 



We set out on foot for Paris, and, taking care not 
to traverse the Place Louis XV, we went to the 
house of my father, then to that of Mme. de Montes- 
son, and later to Mme. de Poix. 

Returning at an early hour to Passy, we found at 
our house Mathieu de Montmorency and the Abbe 
de Damas. Both of them had been on the place of 
execution with their battalion of the National Guard. 
Having compromised themselves by some remarks, 
they had left Paris from the fear of being arrested 
and had come to demand that we should conceal 
them until they could leave or return home. They 
were afraid of a visite domiciliaire, the first sign of 
trouble, which generally preceded by some months 
the arrest of people who were suspected. In these 
visits papers of every kind were seized and taken 
to the Section, where often the most secret 
correspondence served as a pastime for the young 
members of the National Guard who were on duty 
that day. 

About the middle of March, my father-in-law was 
arrested at La Tuilerie and conducted to the Com- 
mune of Paris. After answering many questions, he 
was released. Being more disturbed over the fate of 
his son than over his own danger, he decided that 
we ought to retire to Le Bouilh, whence my husband 
would be able to reach Vendee or with us to escape 
to Spain. This plan seemed the more feasible, as our 
excellent friend, Monsieur de Brouquens, had been 
living at Bordeaux during the past year. In this city, 
as Food Director, he was in charge of the supplies 



for our army which was waging war in Spain. We 
therefore resolved to set out. I left my father with 
the most profound emotion, although I was far from 
thinking that I was embracing him for the last time. 
The difference between our ages, hardly nineteen 
years, was so little, that he seemed to me more like 
a brother than like a father. He had an aquiline nose, 
a very small mouth, large black eyes and light chest- 
nut hair. His tall figure, his handsome face and his 
superb form gave him all the appearance of youth. 
No one could have had more noble manners, nor a 
greater air of grand seigneur. He was my best friend 
and at the same time the comrade of my husband. 

My father-in-law was impatient to have us far 
from Paris and urged us to set out as soon as possible. 
The first day of April, 1793, we were on our way. It 
had been decided that we should make short journeys 
on account of the state of my health. 

We finally arrived at Le Bouilh towards the mid- 
dle of April, and I experienced great joy in finding 
myself in this place so dear to my poor father-in- 
law. He had diminished his fortune by the embel- 
lishments which he had made and by the buildings 
which he had constructed. The four months which 
we passed there have remained in my memory, and 
above all in my heart, as the pleasantest of my life. 
There was a fine library and my husband, who could 
read for hours without fatigue, consecrated our even- 
ings to a course of history and literature which was as 
interesting as it was instructive. Our happiness was 
without a cloud and more complete than at any other 
moment of our past life together. 


The city of Bordeaux, controlled by the Girondins, 
was in a state of semi-revolt against the Convention. 
Many of the Royalists had taken part, in the hope of 
leading the Departments of the Midi, and above all 
those of the Gironde, to join in the movement which 
had broken out in the Departments of the West. 
But Bordeaux was far from possessing the energetic 
courage of the Vendee. There had been organized in 
the city an armed troop of eight hundred or one 
thousand young men of the first families. The insti- 
gators of this movement had only one end in view, 
namely: to declare their independence of Paris and 
of the Convention and establish on the model of the 
United States a federal government in the south of 
France. Monsieur de La Tour du Pin went to Bor- 
deaux where he saw the chiefs of this projected 
federation and returned disgusted with his interview. 

At the end of the summer, we began to be dis- 
turbed by the municipality of Saint- And re-de-Cub- 
zac. The possibility of a visile domiciliaire or the 
establishment of a garrison in the Chateau frightened 
my husband. My father-in-law had just been ar- 
rested. Seals had been placed upon the Chateau of 
Tesson near Saintes, and the Department of Cha- 
rente-Inferieure had arbitrarily taken possession for 
their offices of the fine mansion which we possessed 
at Saintes. Under these conditions it seemed to us 
prudent to accept the proposition of our excellent 
friend, Monsieur de Brouquens, to go and settle in 
a small house which he possessed at a quarter of a 
league from Bordeaux. This house, named Canoles, 


offered every kind of security. It was isolated in the 
midst of a vineyard surrounded on three sides by 
parish roads leading in different directions, and on 
the fourth side by an extensive moor. No village was 
to be found in the environs, and all this part of the 
country, called Haut-Brion, comprised an agglomera- 
tion of properties, larger or smaller, planted with 
vines and almost all contiguous. Accordingly, on the 
first of September, 1793, we went to establish our- 
selves at Canoles. Here Monsieur de Brouquens came 
to dine with us every day. 

If it had not been for the delicate state of my 
health, we would have perhaps set out for Spain. 
Admitting, however, that this departure was possible 
it would have been necessary for us to pass through 
the entire French army. 

The morning of the thirteenth of September, the 
Revolutionary Army entered Bordeaux. Less than 
an hour later all the federal chiefs were arrested and 
imprisoned. The Revolutionary Tribune immediately 
began its sessions, and during a period of six months 
there was not a day passed which did not see the 
death of some innocent person. A guillotine was 
permanently established upon the Place Dauphine. 

During the course of these events was born my 
little girl who was named Seraphine, after her father. 
An hour after her birth my husband was obliged to 
leave us to seek a place of safety. 

Monsieur de Brouquens had hardly returned to his 
house in Bordeaux when they came to arrest him 

C H4] 


and conduct him to prison. He protested that he 
was charged with the details of the administration of 
the supplies for the army fighting in Spain, that his 
arrest would greatly compromise this service and in 
consequence would be strongly disapproved of by the 
general-in-chief. These good reasons determined the 
representatives of the people to place him under 
arrest in his own house. It was indeed a kind of im- 
prisonment, because he was not able to go out, but 
he had the liberty of a house, which was very large, 
with several means of escape in case the danger be- 
came too imminent. The twenty-five men of the garde 
bourgeois e stationed at his door were almost all from 
his quarter and under some kind of obligation to him. 
His goodness and kindness were very great and he 
was adored in Bordeaux. 

It was necessary, however, for him to board these 
twenty-five men the whole time that he was under 
arrest, which was during the greater part of the 
winter. Every day the guards were changed. 

The night following the arrest of Monsieur de 
Brouquens, about midnight, when he was about to go 
to bed, a municipal officer, followed by the chief of 
his section and several guards, presented themselves 
at his house and summoned him to follow them to 
Canoles where they wished to examine his papers. 
His trouble and embarrassment were extreme. He 
knew that my name, my rank in the world, the situa- 
tion of my father-in-law who had just been con- 
fronted with the Queen at Paris, were so many 
motives for proscription. My fate seemed to him 
certain, and he was in despair in thinking of my hus- 



band who had confided me to his care and whom he 
tenderly loved. He could not think of any means of 
avoiding the fate with which I seemed to be menaced. 
Fortunately, among the members of his guards there 
was one who was very much attached to him. Divin- 
ing his perplexity, of his own accord, he came to give 
the alarm. 

I was sleeping quietly when suddenly I felt myself 
shaken by a faithful old woman, who, in tears and as 
pale as death cried: "Here are the coupe-fetes who 
are coming to search and attach the seals. We are 
all lost!" In saying these words, she pushed under 
my pillow a large packet and disappeared as sud- 
denly as she had come. I felt of the package and recog- 
nized that it was a sack containing five or six hundred 
louis, of which Monsieur de Brouquens had spoken 
to me, and which he kept in reserve, in case of urgent 
necessity, either for himself or for Monsieur de La 
Tour du Pin or me. This bag of money was not re- 
assuring. Nevertheless, I did not dare, in taking it 
from its hiding place, to let it be seen by the girl who 
was caring for my child. Not only was I suspicious 
of her, but the physician had discovered that she 
was playing the role of a spy. 

A half an hour later, the visitors arrived. After 
carefully examining the exterior of the house, they 
entered the salon. The blood froze in my veins when 
I thought of all the dangers to which I was exposed. 
Every moment I expected to hear a hand placed upon 
my door. Finally, I distinctly heard some one ask: 
"Who is in this room?" Monsieur de Brouquens 
replied in a whisper and I could not hear the words. 


Later he explained to me that the inspiration had 
come to him to state that a young girl, whom some 
friends had confided to him, was in the room and 
that she was in a delicate condition and very ill. No 
one entered my room, and at the end of two hours, 
after having drunk and eaten everything there was 
in the house, they went away, taking their prisoner 
with them. 

I remained alone at Canoles with my worthy 
physician, who commenced to feel reassured, although 
all danger had not passed. 

Every evening upon my request the good doctor 
read the papers to me. The news then was something 
terrible, and became even more so for me when we 
found the report of the confrontation of my worthy 
father-in-law with the Queen. In these reports was 
described the wrath of Fouquier-Tinville when Mon- 
sieur de La Tour du Pin continued to name her "The 
Queen," or "Her Majesty," instead of "Femme 
Capet," as the public prosecutor wished. My fear 
reached its height when I learned that in answer to 
the question as to where his son was, Monsieur de 
La Tour du Pin had replied with simplicity that he 
was on his estate, near Bordeaux. The result of this 
reply was an order, sent the same day, to Saint- 
Andre-de-Cubzac, to arrest my husband and send 
him to Paris. 

He was at Le Bouilh, and there was only an hour 
to save him. Fortunately, in anticipation of this 
eventuality, and under the pretext of having a farm 
to visit, he kept quite a good horse ready in the 
stable. Disguising himself as well as possible, he set 


out with the intention of gaining the estate of Tesson, 
near to Saintes, and concealing himself in the Chateau. 
The house was under sequestration but was in charge 
of an excellent care-taker and his wife. He was not 
short of money as he had from 10,000 to 12,000 francs 
in assignats. He rode all night long. The weather was 
terrible. The rain fell in torrents and the thunder did 
not cease to rumble. The flashes of lightning blinded 
and frightened his horse who was quite a lively beast. 
In leaving Saint-Genis, upon the route from Blaye 
to Saintes, a man who was standing before a small 
house addressed him. "What weather, citizen! Would 
you like to enter and let the storm pass?" Monsieur 
de La Tour du Pin consented. He dismounted and 
tied his horse to a little shed, situated fortunately 
for him, as you will see later on, very near to the 
door. He entered the house where he found an old 
man occupying the corner of the fire-place. A quarter 
of an hour passed in conversation upon the dearness 
of grains and cattle. At this point the individual who 
had been seated near the fire issued from the house 
and returned ten minutes later wearing a scarf. It 
was the Mayor. "Citizen, you undoubtedly have a 
passport," he said to my husband. "Why certainly," 
replied the latter. "No one travels without that." 
So saying, my husband produced a false passport in 
the name of Gouvernet, of which he had made use 
in going and coming between Saint-Andre and 
Bordeaux. "But," declared the Mayor, after exami- 
nation, "your passport has no vise to go into Charente- 
Inferieure. Remain here until morning. I will consult 
the Municipal Council." Then he resumed his place. 



My husband felt that he was lost if he did not take 
his courage in both hands. During this conversation 
the master of the house, who appeared to be very 
much bored, had approached the opened door, and 
now remarked in a loud tone, as though speaking to 
himself: "Ah! the weather has all cleared up." My 
husband at that time was only thirty-four years of 
age, was extremely quick, and could rival in point 
of address the most practised horseman. After hear- 
ing the above remark of the master of the house, he 
arose quietly and approached the door which had 
remained open. Extending his arm out in the ob- 
scurity of the night, he unfastened the bridle of 
his horse. In a single bound he was on the back 
of the horse and, putting the spurs to~him, had 
escaped before the poor Mayor had had the time 
to leave his seat beside the fire and reach the door 
of the house. 

Monsieur de La Tour du Pin did not dare to pass 
through Pons where there was a fair during the day. 
He stopped at Mirambeau with the former groom of 
his father, who inhabited this locality and in whom 
he had confidence. This man had a little inn and 
conducted a stage which went to Saintes once a week. 
Tetard, which was his name, offered to conceal him, 
but he had young children, and was afraid of their 
indiscretion. He therefore proposed to my husband 
to demand an asylum with his brother-in-law, a rich 
locksmith, who was married but had no children. 
The latter consented, upon the payment of quite a 
large sum, and the bargain was concluded. My hus- 
band was hidden at the house in a closet without 


windows, connected with the bedroom which was 
also used as a kitchen. 

I have since visited this horrible hole. A thin floor- 
ing alone separated it from the shop where the em- 
ployes worked and where were situated the forge and 
bellows. When the locksmith and his wife left their 
room they always took away the key, and it was 
necessary for my husband to remain stretched upon 
his bed and not make the slightest noise. They had 
also recommended to him not to have any light from 
fear that it might be perceived from without, but, as 
soon as the shop was closed, my husband descended 
to supper with the man and his wife. The groom often 
brought news, frequently newspapers and also books 
which he went to Tesson to obtain. 

It was in this way that my poor husband passed 
the first three months of our separation. The post- 
master of Saintes, upon whose devotion he could 
count, advised him to go to Vendee, but aside from 
the extreme difficulty of passing through the lines 
of the Republican troops, my husband was not willing 
to go there under an assumed name, and, by rejoining 
openly the Vendeens, he would have only made 
certain the death of his father and myself. 



The Seals at Le Bouilh. Refuge at Bordeaux with Bonie. 
The Pain de la Section. The Queue at the Door of the 
Butchers and Bakers. Arrest of the English and Ameri- 
cans. A Belle Grisette. Unexpected Protection. Mme. 
Tallien. Interview with Tallien. Monsieur de La Tour 
du Pin Takes Refuge at Tesson. New Flight. Return 
to Tesson. The Cartes de Surete. 

A MEMORANDUM had been presented to 
the municipality of Saint- And re-de-Cubzac 
going to show that the estate of Le Bouilh 
was a royal domain. Without any further informa- 
tion, the commissioners were sent to Le Bouilh 
where they placed the seals with such prodigality 
that there was not a single door which could be 
opened. However, an excellent girl whom I had left 
at the Chateau had already concealed the most 
valuable effects which I had there, in the way of 
linen and so forth, and brought them to me at 
Bordeaux each week in small packets. 

About this time I began to fear that my prolonged 
sojourn with Monsieur de Brouquens was attracting 
too much attention. Above all, I feared that my 
presence at his house would end by compromising 
him. This situation was often the subject of my 


conversations with a relative of Monsieur de Brou- 
quens, Monsieur de Chambeau, who was himself 
suspected and obliged to hide. He had found a very 
retired place of refuge with an individual who kept 
a little obscure hotel, Place Puy-Paulin. This in- 
dividual, young and active, a widower with a single 
child whom he had confided to his mother-in-law, 
lived entirely alone in this hotel with a single domestic. 
This man, whose name was Bonie, pretended to be 
a furious demagogue. He wore a vest of coarse plush, 
called carmagnole, sabots and a sabre. He went to the 
meetings of the Section, to the Jacobins' Club and 
"thoued" every one. 

Monsieur de Chambeau spoke to him of my anxie- 
ties. I did not know where I could retire. My hus- 
band was in flight, my father and father-in-law were 
prisoners, my house had been seized and my only 
friend, Monsieur de Brouquens, was under arrest at 
his own house. At twenty-four years of age, with two 
little children, what was to become of me ? 

Bonie came to see me at Canoles and was interested 
in my sad situation. He proposed that I take refuge 
with him. His house was vacant and Monsieur de 
Brouquens advised me not to reject his offer. I there- 
fore accepted. He gave me an apartment which was 
very sombre and very dilapidated, with an outlook 
upon a little garden. Here I installed myself with my 
two children, their nurse and my dear Marguerite, 
who was continually tormented by a fever which 
nothing seemed to cure. My negro, Zamore, passed 
for a free black who was awaiting the moment to 
join the army. 


The location of my own apartment enabled me to 
enjoy my music, without the danger of being over- 
heard. As I was alone a great deal of the time, this 
was a great distraction for me. I knew a very good 
music teacher named Ferrari, of Italian origin, who 
had stated and also proved to me that he was an 
agent of the Royal Princes. He was very spirituel 
and original and had much talent. 

My room which was quite large was reached 
through a kind of wood-house in which I had had 
piled up a large lot of wood which had been brought 
from Le Bouilh, unknown to the guardian there. 
This wood was brought by our peasants who took 
it in my interest. A woman of the country, who was 
entirely devoted to us, also came to Bordeaux twice 
a week to sell vegetables. She led a donkey which 
bore paniers half-full of linen and clothing which were 
covered with cabbages and potatoes. She was adroit 
enough to make the employes of the octroi believe 
that these objects had been taken from enemies of 
the people. Sometimes she made them a present of 
some articles and brought the rest to me. 

My husband found means of writing me, by a boy 
who came to Bordeaux each week. His letter, which 
was without address, was concealed in a loaf of 
bread which the child brought to the Place Puy- 
Paulin ostensibly for the nurse. As he arrived at a 
fixed hour, the cook awaited him at the time of high 
tide. This poor child, fifteen years of age, was ignorant 
of the subterfuge. They had simply told him that 
there was a nurse in the house whom the physician 
had forbidden to eat the bread of the Section. 



This pain de section was composed of all kinds of flour, 
was black and sticky, and one would hesitate now to 
give it even to the dogs. It was delivered hot from the 
furnace, and every one was forced to place himself in 
line to obtain it. It was a very singular thing, however, 
that the people found a sort of pleasure in this assem- 
blage. As the terror under which they lived hardly 
permitted them to exchange a word with those whom 
they met in the street, this "queue" represented, so 
to speak, an authorized meeting where they could 
speak with their neighbors and learn the news with- 
out being exposed to the imprudence of a question. 

I do not recall under what circumstances all the 
English and American merchants residing at Bor- 
deaux were arrested. This measure gave me the well- 
founded fear of being taken for an Englishwoman, 
which had often happened. Bonie was seriously 
alarmed and advised me no longer to wear a hat 
when I went out during the day but to dress myself 
like the women of Bordeaux. This idea of disguise 
was not disagreeable. I ordered some brassieres which 
were well suited to my form, very slight at that time, 
and which with the red handkerchief upon my head 
changed me so completely that I encountered people 
of my acquaintance without being recognized. Mon- 
sieur de Brouquens, who was still in confinement, 
was very much amused at the comments of his 
twenty-five guardians upon the daily visits which he 
received from the belle grisette. 

Nevertheless, my position at Bordeaux became 
more perilous from day to day, and I cannot under- 


stand now how I escaped death. I was advised to 
endeavor to have the sequestre of Le Bouilh raised, 
but any manifestation of my existence seemed to me 
too dangerous, and I was in a state of the most 
desperate uncertainty when Providence sent me a 
special protection. 

[_ Mme. de Fontenay, who was then called Theresia 
Cabarrus, arrived at Bordeaux. Four years before I 
had met her once at Paris. Mme. Charles de Lameth, 
with whom she had been a pupil in a convent, 
pointed her out to me one evening in coming out of 
the theatre. She did not seem to me at the time to be 
more than fourteen or fifteen years of age and only 
left in my mind the remembrance of a child. It was 
said that she had divorced her husband to preserve 
her fortune, but it was rather to use and abuse her 
liberty. Having met Tallien at the Baths of the 
Pyrenees, he had rendered her some kind of service 
of which I am ignorant, which she had rewarded 
with an unlimited devotion which she took no pains 
to disguise. She had come to Bordeaux to rejoin him 
and was quartered at the Hotel d'Angleterre. 

On the day following her arrival, I wrote her the 
following note: "A lady who has met Mme. de Fon- 
tenay at Paris, and who knows that she is as good as 
she is beautiful, requests a moment of interview." 
She replied verbally that this lady could come when- 
ever she wished. A half hour later I was at her door. 
When I entered, she came to me, and looking me 
in the face cried: "Grand Dieu! Madame de Gou- 
vernet!" Then having embraced me with effusion, 
she put herself at my service. (This was her expres- 


sion.) I explained to her my situation. She considered 
it more dangerous than I had thought it myself and 
declared that the only means of saving myself was 
to fly as soon as possible. I told her that I could not 
make up my mind to leave without my husband. 
She said, "You must see Tallien. He will advise you 
as to the course to adopt. You will be safe here as 
soon as he knows that you are the object of my 
interest." I determined to solicit from Tallien the 
lifting of the sequestre of Le Bouilh in the name of my 
children, also the permission to retire there with 
them. Then I left her, with a feeling of confidence 
from the interest she had shown, and at the same time 
asking myself why she was interested in me. 

Mme. de Fontenay was then not more than twenty 
years of age. A more beautiful human being had 
never issued from the hands of the Creator. She was 
a perfect woman. All her features bore the imprint of 
the most regular and artistic perfection. Her hair, 
black as ebony, seemed made of the finest silk, and 
nothing detracted from the brilliancy of her com- 
plexion which was clear as ivory. An enchanting smile 
displayed the most admirable teeth. Her tall form 
recalled that of Diane Chasseresse. The least move- 
ments revealed an incomparable grace, while her 
voice, which was harmonious and slightly marked 
with a foreign accent, exercised a charm which no 
words can express. You could not help feeling sad 
when you thought that so much youth, beauty, 
grace and spirit was abandoned to the man who, 
every morning, signed the death warrant of many 
innocent persons. 


The following morning I received from Mme. de 
Fontenay this message : "This evening at ten o'clock." 
I passed the day in a state of agitation difficult to 
describe. Arming myself with all my courage, at nine 
o'clock I took the arm of Monsieur de Chambeau, who 
was more alarmed than myself, without daring to 
show it. He conducted me to the door of Mme. de 
Fontenay where he left me with the promise to walk 
up and down on the boulevard until the moment 
when I came out. 

Tallien had not yet arrived and the moment of 
waiting was full of anguish. Mme. de Fontenay could 
not talk with me as there were several persons present 
whom I did not know. Finally we heard the carriage, 
and it was impossible to be mistaken, for it was the 
only one which rolled in the streets of this large city. 
Mme. de Fontenay went out and returned in a 
moment. She took my hand saying: "He awaits 
you." If she had announced to me that the executioner 
was there, I could not have had a different feeling. 
She opened a door upon a little passageway, at the 
end of which I saw a lighted room. As I hesitated in- 
voluntarily, Mme. de Fontenay gave me a push in 
the back, and said: "Go ahead! Do not act like a 
child." Then she turned and went away, closing the 
door. It was necessary for me to advance, but I did 
not dare to raise my eyes. Nevertheless, I walked to 
the corner of the chimney-piece, upon which there 
were two lighted candles. Without the support of 
the marble I should have fallen. Tallien was leaning 
on the other corner. He said in a voice that was quite 
soft: "What do you wish of me?" Then I stammered 


the request to be allowed to go to our country estate 
of Le Bouilh and that the seals which had been placed 
there by error should be taken from the property of 
my father-in-law, with whom I had resided. Brusquely 
he replied that all this was none of his affair. Then 
he said: "But you are then the daughter-in-law of 
this man who was confronted with the woman 
Capet ? . . . And you have a father ? . . . What is his 
name ? . . . Ah ! Dillon, the General ? . . . All the ene- 
mies of the Republic will pass like this," he added, 
making at the same time with his hand the gesture 
of cutting off a head. I was overcome with indignation 
which gave me back all my courage. I raised my 
eyes to look at this monster whom I had not yet 
regarded. Before me I saw a man of twenty-five or 
twenty-six, with a fine face which he endeavored to 
render severe. A mass of blond curls escaped from 
all sides under a large military hat covered with 
varnished cloth and surmounted by a tricolored 
plume. He was dressed in a long tight overcoat of 
coarse blue cloth, over which hung a sabre by a 
shoulder belt which was crossed by a long silk scarf 
of the three colors. "I have not come here, citizen," 
said I, "to hear the sentence of death of my family, 
and since you cannot accord me what I have de- 
manded, I must not trouble you longer." At the 
same time I gave him a slight salute with my head. 
He smiled as if to say: "You are very rash to talk 
to me in this manner." Then I went out by the door 
by which I had entered without going again to the 
On my return home, I felt that my position was 


aggravated rather than helped. If Tallien did not 
help me, my fate appeared to me certain. 

Towards the middle of the winter, the locksmith 
with whom my husband was concealed arrived at 
Bordeaux to purchase iron. He came to see me and 
I showed him my appreciation and my confidence. I 
also let him see my children so that he would be able 
to tell their father that he had found them in good 
health. He was a good peasant of Saintonge, but very 
simple and ignorant and understanding nothing of 
the state of the country. He could not comprehend 
why they were able to eat excellent white bread at 
Mirambeau, while that which they had given him 
that morning at Bordeaux was so black that his dog 
would have refused it. While waiting for the tide to 
turn, so that he could return to Blaye, he walked in 
Bordeaux, and unfortunately passed the Place Dau- 
phine where executions were taking place. A lady 
mounted the scaffold and he demanded what was 
her crime. "She is an aristocrat," they replied. Soon 
he saw a peasant like himself called upon to submit 
to the same fate. Again he demanded the reason and 
it was explained that this man had given asylum to 
a nobleman and that for this reason only he was 
condemned to die with him. 

The poor man forgot what had brought him to 
Bordeaux. He set out to return on foot, and on his 
arrival home during the night, he at once announced 
to my husband that he could not guard him for an- 
other hour, as his own life and that of his wife were 
in danger. He ran to wake up his brother-in-law, the 



groom, who could not succeed in reassuring him. It 
was decided that they should attach a horse to a 
little chariot, at the bottom of which they put some 
straw in which my husband was concealed. Then 
they departed, through round-about roads, for Tes- 
son, the chateau of my father-in-law, upon which 
the seals had been placed, but to which the concierge 
Gregoire and his wife had a secret entrance. One of 
the windows of the pavilion which they occupied 
looked out upon the road. The groom rapped at a 
sjiutter, which they opened, and my husband entered 
by this window, and was received by these worthy 
people with exclamations of pleasure. He was in- 
stalled in a room adjoining their own, with a chimney 
in common. This permitted them to have a fire every 
day without attracting attention without, which was 
very much appreciated by my husband who was very 

At Tesson there was an excellent library. The in- 
ventory of this and also of the furniture of the 
Chateau had not yet been taken. The seals had been 
placed only upon the exterior doors, so that it was 
possible to go anywhere in the house as long as the 
Venetian blinds were not opened. My husband there- 
fore had access to all the books he wished to read. 
He even found means of withdrawing papers and 
old correspondence of his father, the publication of 
which would have been disagreeable. However, he 
was not destined to enjoy this retreat, which was 
comparatively comfortable, without trouble. 

At the end of seven or eight days orders arrived 
at the municipality of Tesson that they should at 



1757 - 1820 


once proceed with the inventory of all that was con- 
tained in the Chateau, which was large and very well 
furnished. The father of my husband had inherited 
this property from Monsieur de Monconseil, his 
father-in-law, who had lived there for forty years 
and had furnished it in a sumptuous and magnificent 
manner of the time of Louis XIV. This inventory 
would take about two days and it was impossible to 
expect that any corner of the Chateau would escape 
the vigilance of the visitors. 

Gregoire did not disguise his fears from my un- 
fortunate husband. He declared that he did not know 
a place where he could conceal him, or a person in the 
village or the neighborhood who would be willing to 
receive him. It was therefore agreed that Gregoire 
should go to Saintes to see Boucher, the postmaster, 
a former ecuyer of Monsieur de Monconseil, who was 
very much attached to my husband, whom he had 
known when very young at his grandfather's, and 
request him to receive the fugitive at his house. 
Gregoire set out early in the morning on foot in very 
bad weather, although he was over seventy years of 
age. He did not find Boucher at home, but his sister, 
who was equally devoted to our interests, consented 
to receive my husband and conceal him during the 
absence of her brother. Gregoire accordingly returned 
to Tesson without having taken any rest. That very 
night he again set out with my husband for Saintes, 
a locality where there were no walls and which 
was consequently accessible by byways known to 

I have omitted to say before that I had sent my 


husband, during the time that he was at Mirambeau, 
a complete costume of a peasant of the Revolutionary 
period, in which he could hardly recognize himself. 

Mile. Boucher received him very well but with an 
exaggeration of precautions from which he drew the 
conclusion that the shorter the time he remained in 
the house the better she would like it. 

The inventory at Tesson having been finished at 
the end of three days, it was possible for my husband 
to return. 



Alarming Situation of Mme. de La Tour du Pin at Bordeaux 
and of Her Husband at Tesson. Certificates of Residence 
with Nine Witnesses. Decision to Leave for America. 
The American Vessel "Diane." Preparations for De- 
parture. On the Arm of Tallien. Passport of the Citizen 
Latour. Anxiety over the Delay. Return of Monsieur 
de La Tour du Pin. How He Came Back from Tesson. 

HOWEVER, the situation became more alarm- 
ing from hour to hour. Not a day passed 
without executions. I was lodged sufficiently 
near the Place Dauphine to hear the drum, the roll 
of which marked each head that fell. I could count 
them before the evening papers told me the names of 
the victims. The window of my room looked out on 
the garden, the end of which touched an old church 
in which was established the Club of the Amis du 
peuple, and when the evening session was animated, 
the applause and vociferations of the miserable crea- 
tures who were present reached even to my room. 

The news which I received of my husband depicted 
his situation at Tesson as most precarious. At every 
moment Gregoire was menaced with the establish- 
ment in the Chateau of a body of troops, or a military 
hospital, or something similar, which would have 
obliged my husband to flee again. 



I did not know of any other place where he could 
be in greater security. I could not think of recalling 
him to Bordeaux, near me, on account of the girl who 
took care of my child. I had been told again that it 
was impossible to trust her. Nevertheless, I did not 
dare to send her away for fear of worse. 

Another circumstance had proved to me that I 
was not forgotten at Bordeaux, as much as I had 
hoped. My man-of-affairs had written me from Paris 
that a law had just been adopted requiring certificats 
de residence with nine witnesses, and that it was 
necessary to renew these certificats every three months 
under pain of the confiscation of the property which 
you possessed in the communes where you did not 
reside. I had a house at Paris, occupied by the 
Swedish Ambassador, and an income from the State 
which had already been reduced by a third. It was 
therefore necessary for me to obtain this certificate. 
Bonie took charge of getting together the nine 
witnesses, none of whom had ever seen me in their 
lives, but who were willing to believe his word. By 
arrangement, we went to the municipality one morn- 
ing. Here I was seated near the fire while Bonie had 
the act drawn up and obtained the signatures of the 
witnesses. Finally the moment for me to sign arrived 
and the municipal officer, with a kind of respect 
which astonished me, gave me a chair to use while 
signing. Then to my great alarm the certificate was 
read from one end to the other in a loud voice, and 
at the name of Dillon, one of these rascals interrupted 
by saying: "Ah! ah! the citizeness is apparently sister 
or niece of all the emigres of this name whom we 


have upon our list?" I was going to reply in the 
negative, when the head of the Bureau said brusquely, 
"You do not know what you are talking about. She 
is not even their relative." I looked at him in surprise, 
and he said to me in a low tone, while giving me the 
pen to sign: "You are the niece of the Archbishop 
of Narbonne. I am from Soreze." I thanked him with 
a slight inclination of the head, but I thought as I 
went away that it was necessary to leave Bordeaux 
since I was so well known. 

I felt at the end of my resources. I saw that Bonie 
was disturbed over my fate. Several means of escape 
had been recognized as impossible. Every day some 
one was executed who had thought he was in safety. 
My nights were passed without sleep, as I thought 
at every noise that they were coming to arrest me. 
I hardly dared any longer to leave the house. I was 
afraid of falling sick at the moment when I never had 
had greater use for my health, in order to be strong 
enough to act, if this was found necessary. Finally, 
one morning, going to see Monsieur de Brouquens, 
who was still under arrest at his house, I was leaning 
pensively upon the table, when my eyes were me- 
chanically drawn to a morning paper which was open. 
Here I read under the commercial news: "The ship 
'Diane' of Boston, 150 tons, will leave in eight days 
in ballast with the permission of the Minister of 
Marine." Without saying a word, I immediately got 
up and was leaving when Monsieur de Brouquens 
raised his eyes and said: "Where are you going then 
so quickly?" "I am going to America," I replied 
as I went out. 


I went directly to see Mme. de Fontenay whom I 
advised of my resolution. She approved of my plan, 
especially as she had just had bad news from Paris. 
Tallien had been denounced there by his colleague 
and was likely to be recalled at any moment. This re- 
call she thought would probably be the signal for a new 
outbreak of cruelty at Bordeaux, where she herself 
did not wish to remain if Tallien left. There was there- 
fore not a moment to lose if we wished to be saved. 

I returned to my house and called Bonie, to whom 
I said that it was necessary to find me a man in 
whom he had confidence, to go in search of my 
husband. He did not hesitate a moment. He said: 
"The commission is perilous, but I know a man 
who can undertake it, and that man is myself." He 
assured me that he would succeed, and I had confi- 
dence in his zeal and his intelligence. He hazarded 
his life, which would have been sacrificed with that 
of my husband if they had been discovered ; but as 
in this case my own would not have been spared, I 
did not feel any scruples in accepting his proposition. 

I did not lose an instant. I went to find an old 
ship-owner, a friend of my father's, who was also a 
ship-broker. He was very devoted to me and agreed 
to go and arrange passage on the "Diane" for my- 
self, my husband and our two children. I should 
have liked to take Marguerite with me, but for a 
period of six months already she had had a double 
intermittent fever, and no remedy seemed to cure 
her. I was afraid that a sea voyage at this bad season 
of the year, as we were in the last days of February, 
might be fatal to her. I therefore resolved to leave 



without her. When I returned to see Monsieur de 
Brouquens, having already arranged everything, his 
surprise was very great. He then told me that he 
had just been restored to liberty by an order from 
Paris and that he was counting on leaving in several 
days. He proposed to me to go the following day to 
Canoles for luncheon, to which place he had not re- 
turned since the visite domiciliaire. 

Once more at my own residence, I placed my confi- 
dence in my good Zamore, for the most difficult 
thing was to arrange to pack our effects without the 
knowledge' of the maid, who would immediately have 
denounced us to the Section. She slept with my little 
girl, then six months of age, in a long room lined 
with wardrobes in which I had placed all the things 
which had been sent me from Le Bouilh, as well as 
those which I had brought from there myself, when 
I came to take up my residence at Canoles. This 
room was between my own and that of Marguerite. 
The latter had an exit on a little staircase which 
descended to the cellar. Fortunately, having no confi- 
dence in this maid, I had always kept the wardrobes 
closed. I therefore arranged with Zamore that on the 
following morning, while I was at Canoles, where I 
would take with me the maid and the children, he 
should get out all my things and take them down to 
the cellar by the little stairway, and there pack them 
in the boxes which he would find. I especially charged 
him not to leave on the floor even a piece of thread, 
the sight of which might reveal to the maid that the 
wardrobes had recently been opened. He executed 
this commission with his usual intelligence. 


The next day I went in company with Monsieur 
de Chambeau to luncheon at Canoles at the house 
of Monsieur de Brouquens. While we three were at 
the table the gate of the garden opened and we saw 
Mme. de Fontenay enter on the arm of Tallien. My 
surprise was very great as she had not told me of her 
plan. Brouquens was stupified but soon recovered 
himself. As for myself I endeavored to conceal my 
emotion at the sight of a man who had entered be- 
hind Tallien. He had placed a finger upon his lips 
on looking at me, and I immediately turned my eyes 
away. This was Monsieur de Jumilhac, whom I knew 
well, and who, concealed at Bordeaux under another 
name, accompanied Tallien. The latter, after a polite 
remark to Brouquens regarding the liberty which he 
had taken to pass through his garden to go to the 
house of the Swedish Consul, came to me with the 
polite bearing of a seigneur of the ancienne cour, 
and said to me in the most gracious manner: "I am 
told, Madame, that I am in a position to-day to 
repair my faults with regard to you. I am entirely 
at your disposal." Accordingly, laying aside the aii 
of cold disdain which I had formerly assumed towards 
him, with an expression sufficiently polite, I explained 
that having some pecuniary interests at Martinique, 
I desired to go there to look after my affairs, and 
that I would like to ask him for a passport for my- 
self, my husband and my children. He replied: "But 
where then is your husband?" I said, laughing, 
"Permit me, citizen representative, not to tell you." 
"As you wish," said he, gayly. The monster was very 
amiable. His beautiful mistress had threatened to see 



him no longer if he did not save me, and this menace 
had enchained his cruelty for the moment. 

After several minutes of conversation, they spoke of 
going to the house of the Swedish Consul. I excused 
myself from going under the pretext that I must look 
after my children whom the maid had brought to 
Canoles. But Mme. de Fontenay, looking at me with 
her big black eyes, said: "Venez done!" and I under- 
stood with horror what was about to happen. She 
herself took the arm of M. de Brouquens and Tallien 
offered me his. I do not know how to express what I 
felt at this moment. If only my own life had been in 
question, and if that of my husband had not depended 
upon my taking the arm which he offered me, I should 
have refused. I therefore accepted and took advan- 
tage of the moment to arrange my affair definitely. 

The poor Swedish Consul and his charming 
daughter were more dead than alive at receiving this 
amiable visit from the representative of the people. 
We entered the billiard room, where Tallien played 
two or three games, including one with poor Brou- 
quens, who missed nearly all his strokes, although he 
was a very good player. 

Finally Tallien declared that he had an engage- 
ment and that he was obliged to leave. He took out 
his watch and looked at the time. "You have there 
a pretty watch," said Mme. de Fontenay. "Yes," he 
replied. "It is one of the new watches of Breguet and 
is worth from seven to eight thousand francs. Would 
you like to have it?" he added in offering it to her. 
"Ah! merci!" she said, as if he had offered her a 
flower, and taking the watch she put it in her bag. 


This incident caused me a profound disgust, for it 
was the act of a corrupted courtisane. 

This visit finished, we returned, Brouquens and I, 
to Canoles, for Monsieur de Chambeau had concealed 
himself upon the arrival of Tallien. When we were 
alone, the alteration in the face of Brouquens struck 
me. He threw himself upon a sofa in a great state of 
agitation, and in a reply to my question as to the 
cause of his trouble, he said : "Alas, you saw the watch 
which was given by Tallien to Mme. de Fontenay. 
Well, it belonged to poor Saige! (The name of the 
former Mayor of Bordeaux, an intimate friend of Brou- 
quens, and one of the first victims of The Terror at 
Bordeaux.) When he was condemned he placed this 
watch upon the desk of the tribunal, saying: 'Take it, 
I do not wish to have the executioner profit by it/ 
And Tallien took it and put it in his pocket." 

It is easy to comprehend the repulsion which this 
recital inspired in me. I would like to believe that 
the citizeness Theresia was ignorant of this fact when 
she accepted the present. 

Two hours after my return to Bordeaux, Alexandre, 
the secretary of Tallien, brought me the order en- 
joining upon the municipality of Bordeaux to deliver 
a passport to the citizen Latour and his wife with 
two young children, to go to Martinique on board 
the ship "Diane." Once furnished with this precious 
paper, it only remained for me to recall my husband 
to Bordeaux, for the American captain would not 
have been willing to take him on board if these papers 
had not been in order. 


This journey from Tesson to Bordeaux was full of 
difficulties and dangers. As I have already said above, 
Bonie did not hesitate a moment and set out for 
Blaye with the falling tide. He had already procured 
a regular passport for himself, for without that he 
could not leave the department and enter that of 
Charente-Inferieure, in which was located Tesson, 
ten leagues from the frontier of the Gironde. But as 
soon as he returned to the Gironde, a simple carte de 
surete would be sufficient for him to travel anywhere 
in the department. Bonie had indeed his personal carte 
de surete, but it was necessary to procure one for my 
husband. He therefore went to find one of his friends, 
who for the moment was sick, and under the pretext 
that he had mislaid his own card, he borrowed the card 
of his friend for several days. Bonie set out that evening. 

I had calculated the moments that would be neces- 
sary to accomplish this perilous journey, and the 
third day, towards nine o'clock in the evening, I 
thought that the boat which came every day from 
Blaye with the tide would bring to me the travelers 
so anxiously awaited. The fever of impatience which 
devoured me would not permit me to remain in the 
house. With Monsieur de Chambeau I went upon 
the Chartrons to the place where I knew the Blaye 
boat should arrive. The darkness was so profound 
that it was impossible to see the water in the river. 
I did not dare to ask for any information, as I knew 
that all the points on the river were observed by 
numerous police spies. Finally, after a long wait, we 
heard the clock strike the hour of nine-thirty, and 
Monsieur de Chambeau, who had no carte de surete, 



remarked to me that we had only a half hour to re- 
turn to the house without danger. Having lost all 
hope for that day, I returned to the house where I 
passed the night in imagining with anguish all the 
obstacles which might have delayed Bonie and his 
unfortunate companion. 

While I was trembling thus with anxiety and im- 
patience, my husband was sleeping quietly upon a 
comfortable bed prepared for him by Bonie before 
his departure, in one of the unoccupied rooms of the 
house. In the morning the maid, when she came to 
dress my little girl, said to me, with an indifferent 
air: "A propos, madame, Monsieur Bonie est la qui 
demande si vous etes levee." I made a prodigious 
effort not to cry out, and the reader can understand 
that my toilette was not long. Bonie then entered and 
informed me that they had arrived too late at Blaye 
to take the ordinary boat, upon which my husband 
also might have been recognized. He had chartered 
a fishing bark, and the wind being favorable and very 
strong, he had set out with his companion and soon 
overtaken and then passed the ordinary boat. They 
had therefore already arrived when I was waiting for 
them in a state of despair upon the bank of the river. 

I was dying with impatience to enter the room 
where my husband was concealed, but Bonie advised 
me to dress as if I were going out, so as to deceive 
the maid. Finally, a half hour later, I went out under 
the pretext of doing some shopping, and Bonie hav- 
ing rejoined me, he conducted me by a secret stair- 
case to my husband's room. It was thus that we met 
after six months of the most painful separation. 



Delivery of the Passport. The Vise by Ysabeau. Monsieur 
de Fontenay and His Wife's Diamonds. Final Prepara- 
tions. Adieux to Marguerite. Monsieur de Chambeau 
Accompanies Us. Embarkment on the "Diane." The 
Boat and Its Equipment. Off the Azores. The Pilot. 
The Port of Boston. Joy at Arriving. 

I HAVE already related how I took out, two 
months before, a certificate of residence with 
nine witnesses under the name of Dillon Gou- 
vernet. It was now necessary to go and obtain a pass- 
port under the name of Latour, and to avoid the 
name of Dillon which was too well known at 
Bordeaux, I decided to replace the name of Dillon 
with that of Lee, which my uncle Lord Dillon had 
added to his own when he received the inheritance 
of Lord Lichfield, his great-uncle. It was impossible 
to draw back. The bureau of passports was closed at 
nine o'clock and we went there at eight-thirty. The 
date was the eighth of March, 1794. My husband 
walked, quite a distance ahead with Bonie. I followed, 
accompanied by a friend of the latter, who carried in 
his arms my little girl, six months of age, and led by 
the hand my son who was not then four years old. 
On account of the English or American name which 
I wished to take, I was dressed as a lady, but very 


badly gotten up and wearing an old straw hat. We 
entered the hall of the Hotel de Ville which was full 
of people. I was trembling with fear lest some in- 
habitant of Saint- Andre-de-Cubzac or of Bordeaux 
should recognize us. We therefore took care, Monsieur 
de La Tour du Pin and I, to keep as far apart from 
one another as possible and to avoid the lighted part 
of the hall. 

Furnished with this card, we ascended to the bu- 
reau of passports, and as we entered we heard the 
employe cry out: "That is enough for today, the 
rest tomorrow." Any delay would have cost our 
lives, as you will see. Bonie rushed up to the desk 
and said: "If you are tired, citizen, I will write for 
you." The other consented and Bonie made out the 
collective passport for the Latour family. 

As soon as the passport was signed, we took it 
with keen satisfaction, although we were still very 
far from being saved. It had been arranged, in order 
that we should not both be found in the same house, 
and to avoid the necessity of passing through Bor- 
deaux the following morning in full daylight, that 
Monsieur de La Tour du Pin should pass the night 
with the Consul of Holland, Monsieur Meyer, who 
lived in the last house of the Chartrons, and who was 
entirely devoted to us. Monsieur de Brouquens was 
waiting for us in the street and conducted my husband 
there. As for myself, after having taken the children 
back to the house, I went to see Mme. de Fontenay, 
where I expected to see Tallien who had to vise our 
passport. I found her in tears. Tallien had received 
the order of his recall and had already left two hours 


before. She herself was to leave in the morning and 
she did not conceal from me her fears that the fe- 
rocious Ysabeau, the colleague of Tallien, would 
refuse to vise our passport. But Alexandre, the secre- 
tary of Tallien, assured us that he would obtain the 
vise. He said that Ysabeau always signed on leaving 
the theatre, and that as he was in haste to have his 
supper, he hardly regarded the papers which were 
presented to him. Providence in its kindness had 
wished that Ysabeau should demand of Tallien to 
leave with him his secretary Alexandre, who not only 
was very useful to him but had also the address to 
render himself necessary. 

At the moment that I entered the house of Mme. 
de Fontenay, Alexandre left to go and get the signa- 
ture. He took the passport and slipped it in between 
a number of others. Ysabeau who was very much 
taken up that day with the arrival of his new col- 
league, whom he looked for in the morning, signed 
without paying any attention, and as soon as 
Alexandre was at liberty to leave, he ran to Mme. 
de Fontenay's where I was waiting more dead than 
alive. I was not there alone, for a person whom I did 
not know had entered. This man was no other than 
Monsieur de Fontenay. At this moment, Alexandre 
arrived holding the passport unfolded in his hand. 
He was so out of breath that he fell on a chair with- 
out being able to articulate more than the words 
"Le voila!" Mme. de Fontenay and I embraced him 
with all our hearts, for he was our real sauveur. 

Alexandre was getting ready to leave and, as it 
was nearly midnight, I also prepared to leave with 


him. Mme. de Fontenay kept me for a moment by 
saying that she would have me escorted, but that 
before I left she wished to show me something very 
pretty. I followed her into her bedroom where Mon- 
sieur de Fontenay, who was still silent, accompanied 
us. From a drawer she took out a handkerchief and 
laid it upon the table. Then opening a handsome 
jewel-case, she took out a collection of diamonds of 
the greatest magnificence and threw them upon the 
handkerchief pell-mell. When she had thus emptied 
all the drawers of the jewel-box, without leaving the 
least thing, she tied up the ends of the handkerchief 
and handed it to Monsieur de Fontenay with these 
words: "Prenez tout." And he indeed took all and 
went out without opening his mouth. I showed my 
great surprise and she replied to my thought by 
saying: "He had given me a part; the rest came 
from my mother. He also is leaving tomorrow for 

All of our baggage had now been on board for 
three days, without my spy having imagined that all 
the wardrobes and all the drawers were empty. I 
paid the most tender adieux to my maid, Marguerite, 
whom I left under the protection of Monsieur de 
Brouquens. Finally, on the tenth of March, taking my 
daughter Seraphine in my arms and my son Humbert 
by the hand, I said to the nurse that I was going to 
take them to the Alices de Tourny, which at this 
time was still the usual promenade for children, and 
that I would be back in an hour or two. Instead of 
returning, I walked towards the Glacis du Chateau- 



1773 - 1635 


Trompette, where I rejoined Monsieur de Chambeau, 
to whom I had given rendez-vous. He had also ob- 
tained passage on our boat, as it was necessary for 
political reasons for him to leave the city with the 
shortest possible delay. I found him at Chateau- 
Trompette accompanied by a boy carrying his port- 
manteau which was very light. He took the hand of 
Humbert and when we arrived at the end of the 
Chartrons, and saw the boat of the "Diane," we 
both of us experienced a feeling of joy such as one 
does not often have in this life. 

Monsieur Meyer, with whom my husband had 
passed the night, was awaiting us. We found, already 
at luncheon, the good Brouquens, Mme. de Fontenay 
and three or four other persons. In spite of all of our 
efforts, the famine at Bordeaux was so great that we 
had been able to procure very few provisions. Several 
sacks of potatoes and of beans, a small box of pre- 
serves and fifty bottles of Bordeaux wine comprised 
all our riches. Captain Pease had several casks of 
biscuits, but they were eighteen months old, as he 
had brought them from Baltimore. Monsieur Meyer 
gave me a little bag of fresh biscuits which I kept to 
make soup for my little girl. But of what importance 
was all that compared to the fact that the life of my 
husband was saved ! 

Mme. de Fontenay was overjoyed at her success. 
Her beautiful face was bathed with tears of joy 
when we entered the boat. She has since told me 
that this moment, thanks to our expressions of 
gratitude, was one of the pleasantest of which she 
had preserved the memory. 



When the captain was seated at the helm and cried 
"Off!" a feeling of indescribable happiness overcame 
me. Seated before my husband whose life I was sav- 
ing, with my two children upon my knees, nothing 
to me seemed impossible. Poverty, work, misery, 
nothing was difficult with him. 

The boat "Diane" had descended with the pre- 
ceding tide as far as Bee d'Ambez, where we were to 
rejoin it. We had received orders from headquarters 
to hail a ship of war stationed as a sentinel in the 
middle of the river at the entrance of the port. Our 
captain prepared to submit his papers and our pass- 
ports. This was a dangerous moment. We did not 
dare to speak French, nor to look up towards the 
bridge of the war vessel. The captain alone went on 
board. He did not know a word of French although 
he had spent a year at Bordeaux. A voice from the 
bridge cried: "Have the woman come up to serve as 
interpreter." I was struck with a mortal terror. But 
our captain leaned over the rail and told me not to 
answer. I did not raise my eyes. At this moment a 
French boat in great haste and full of men in uniform 
approached. The captain took advantage of this 
diversion, seized his papers, jumped into the boat 
and we rowed away as fast as possible. 

At last we found our little vessel the "Diane" 
and settled ourselves on board as well as possible. 
The second falling tide took us in front of Pauillac. 
There we had again to receive the visit of two other 
guard vessels. The officers who came on board were 
very polite, but very inquisitive. 

As the wind was absolutely contrary and showed 


no signs of changing, the captain proposed to us to 
go on land for dinner, where we might have a chance 
to buy some articles to add to our provisions. Here 
we had a narrow escape from being recognized by a 
servant who served the dessert and who thought she 
recognized my husband. It was therefore with a feel- 
ing of relief that we found ourselves once more in 
the cabin of the "Diane." Fortunately the wind 
changed and the following day we left behind us the 
Tour de Cordouan. 

The little brig upon which we had embarked was 
only of 150 tons, that is to say a large bark. As the 
cargo was composed solely of our twenty-five boxes 
or trunks, the boat rolled horribly. My maritime 
apprenticeship was very painful. 

We had agreed with the captain regarding our 
board, but he, as unfortunate as ourselves, had not 
been able to procure provisions other than those 
which had been furnished by the marine stores. 

At the time of our departure from Bordeaux, one 
of the four sailors had had a terrible fall from the top 
of the mast into the hold and was out of service. 
Only three sailors remained to manoeuvre the boat. 
The crew therefore consisted only of these three 
sailors, a cabin boy who acted as servant, the cap- 
tain, who was a young man without much experience, 
the mate, who like himself was from Nantucket, and 
an old sailor of much experience named Harper 
whom the captain consulted on every occasion. 

The captain had a little room which he occupied 
alone. He had given a cabin to my husband and to 



myself and another to Monsieur de Chambeau. My 
husband did not leave his bed for thirty days. He 
suffered terribly from sea-sickness and also from the 
poor food. 

At the time, the Americans were at war with the 
Algerians, who had already captured several of their 
vessels. Our captain was in such great terror of these 
pirates that at two leagues from the Tour de Cor- 
douan he set his course towards the north and de- 
clared that nothing in the world would reassure him 
before he was to the north of Ireland. 

One day the sailor who was on watch upon the 
deck cried out: "French man-of-war ahead." The 
captain rushed on deck and at the same time ordered 
us not to appear. A cannon shot was heard. It was 
the commencement of a conversation upon which de- 
pended the question of our life or death. The vessel 
announced itself as French by displaying its flag. We 
also showed our flag, and after the usual questions, 
we heard our captain reply, for we were not able to 
distinguish the questions from the French boat: "No 
passengers; no cargo." To which the "Atalante" re- 
plied: "Come on board." Our captain said that the 
sea was too rough. Then the conversation terminated 
with a word from the French vessel : " Follow," and 
we set our only sail and with submission followed in 
the wake of the French vessel. The captain on de- 
scending said to us gayly: "In another hour it will 
be night, and there is a fog coming on." Never was a 
fog hailed with greater joy. We soon lost sight of the 
frigate in the darkness, and as we were making as 
little sail as possible, she continued to gain upon us. 



The frigate had signalled to us that she was going 
into Brest and wanted us to follow. As soon as night 
fell, we took the route directly contrary, and, the 
wind being very strong and favorable, with all sails 
set, we laid our course to the northwest, without 
caring whether or not it was the route to Boston, 
where we were to go. 

This incident threw us completely out of our course, 
and we experienced thick fogs which did not enable 
us to take an observation for a period of twelve or 
fifteen days. Provisions commenced to run short and 
we were put upon a ration of water. We encountered 
an English vessel coming from Ireland and our cap- 
tain went on board and returned with a bag of 
potatoes and two small pots of butter for myself and 
children. Having compared his position with that of 
the English captain, he found that we were fifty 
leagues to the north of the Azores. On learning this, 
my husband prayed him to put us on the shore of 
the Azores, from which we might have been able to 
gain England, but the captain was unwilling to do so. 

Ten days followed in which we were unable to take 
an observation, and the fog was so dense that even 
upon our little boat we could not see the bowsprit. 
The captain did not know where he was. Old Harper 
assured us that he felt land breezes, but we thought 
that he was endeavoring to cheer us up. Finally, the 
twelfth of May, 1794, at daybreak, as the weather 
was warm and the sea calm, we were on deck with 
the children to breathe the fresh air. The fog was 
still very dense, and the captain declared that the 



land was still at a distance of at least fifty or sixty 
leagues. I could not help remarking, however, the 
nervousness of the dog a black terrier, of which 
I was very fond and who had taken a great fancy to 
me. The poor beast rushed forward barking and then 
at once returned to me and licked my hands, and 
then repeated the same action. This singular per- 
formance had already lasted for an hour when a 
little pilot boat appeared near to us and a man cried 
in English: "If you do not change your direction, 
you are going to run onto the Cape." A cord was 
thrown to him and he sprang on board. It is im- 
possible to describe the joy we felt upon seeing this 
pilot from Boston. We had arrived without knowing 
it at the entrance of this magnificent harbor, of whcih 
the finest lake in Europe can give no idea. Leaving 
the open sea, where the waves were breaking with 
fury over the rocks, we entered by a narrow passage, 
where two vessels could hardly pass at the same time, 
into a body of water as quiet and smooth as a mirror. 
A light breeze came up from the friendly land which 
was to receive us. 

The transports of my son cannot be described. 
For a period of sixty days he had heard us talk of 
the dangers from which, thanks to Heaven, we had 
escaped. The remembrance of good white bread and 
of the good milk of other days often troubled his 
young imagination. When he saw from this straight 
passage by which we were entering, the green fields, 
the trees and flowers and all the beauty of the most 
luxuriant vegetation, his joy was unbounded. Our 
own, although more reasonable, was not less intense. 




Adieux to the "Diane." Joy of Being in a Friendly Country. 
Temporary Residence at Boston. Mr. Geyer. General 
Schuyler. Sale of Superfluous Articles. Departure for 
Albany. Mme. de La Tour du Pin Learns of the Death 
of Her Father. The Inn at Lebanon. Arrival at Albany. 
Friendly Reception by General Schuyler and the Van 
Rensselaer Family. Mrs. Van Rensselaer. Talleyrand 
in America. 

IT is probably very presumptuous on my part to 
continue to write these memoirs at the age of 
nearly seventy-three years. But having to-day 
finished the task of copying the part which I had 
already written upon loose sheets, I warn you, my 
dear son, Aymar, that you shall have the rest if God 
permits, as long as I retain a little strength and 
reason and eyes to guide my hand. An enterprise of 
this kind demands, above all things, memory, and 
it seems to me that I have not entirely lost mine. 

But abandoning preambles, let us return to our 
entrance into the port of Boston. Our ecstacy, I 
admit with shame, was entirely concentrated upon 
an enormous fresh fish which the pilot had just 
caught and which, with a pitcher of milk, fresh 
butter and white bread, composed what the captain 


called "a welcome breakfast." While we were eating 
with voracious appetites, we were advancing, towed 
by our boat, up this magnificent bay. At two cables' 
length from the land, our captain dropped the 
anchor and then left us with the promise to return 
in the evening after having found us a lodging. 

We did not have a single letter of introduction, 
and we awaited his return with patience. Fresh 
provisions arrived from all sides. Several Frenchmen 
also came, who were impatient to have news. They 
assailed us with questions to which we could reply 
only very imperfectly. One wished to know what was 
going on at Lille, another at Grenoble, a third at 
Metz, and all were surprised and almost angry to 
obtain replies only regarding Paris or France in 
general. Most of them were very common people: 
ruined merchants, or workmen who were looking for 
positions. They left us in very bad humor, and we 
were not troubled by them during the rest of the 
time that we were at Boston. 

The remainder of the day was passed in putting 
our things in order. The captain returned in the 
evening. He had found a little lodging upon the 
Market Place, and his ship-owner had charged him 
to offer us his services. My husband resolved to go 
to see him the following day on landing. The captain 
told us that he was a rich man and highly considered, 
and that we were fortunate to be under his protection. 

You may well believe that daybreak the following 
morning found me already awake. I made my adieux 
to all the members of the crew individually by 
"shaking hands" with them. These worthy fellows 



had been full of attention for us. The cabin-boy shed 
tears on separating from my son. Every one expressed 
his regret at parting, and I for my part was very 
sorry not to be able to take the dog "Black" who 
was much attached to me. I had consulted my friend 
Boyd to learn whether the captain would willingly 
let me have her. Boyd assured me that the request 
would be refused, and I therefore did not dare to 
make it. 

Our good captain conducted us first to one of the 
best inns, where he had ordered prepared an excellent 
luncheon, and we found everything of which we had 
been deprived for so long a time. After this, we went 
to the little lodging house chosen by the captain, 
where my husband left me to go and see the owner 
of our ship. 

Mr. Geyer was one of the richest proprietors of 
the city of Boston. Although he had returned after 
the peace to enjoy his fortune in his native land, 
he had been counted among the partisans of England, 
and had taken no part in the Revolution against the 
Mother Country. Following the example of many 
other Boston merchants, he had even taken his 
family with him to England during the war. My 
husband was received by Mr. Geyer with a charming 

I omitted to say that at Pauillac we were moored 
alongside a vessel which was waiting for a favorable 
wind, like ourselves, and which was bound for Eng- 
land. I had written a few words in haste to Mme. 
d'Henin, then living at London, to beg her to write 


us at Boston, in care of Mr. Geyer whose address 
had been given me by the captain. The length of 
our voyage had permitted my aunt to reply, and we 
found, on landing, letters which settled the place in 
the United States which we were to inhabit. I will 
return to this later. 

The house, in which were located the rooms found 
for us by the captain, was inhabited by three genera- 
tions of ladies: Mrs. Pierce, her mother and her 
daughter. The house was situated upon the Market 
Place, the locality the most frequented and most 
animated in the city. Our lodging comprised, on one 
side, a little sitting-room lighted by two windows 
looking out on the Market Place; on the other side, 
at the top of a little stairway, a comfortable bed- 
chamber allotted to my husband, my children and 
myself. This room had a view over an isolated dock- 
yard where ship carpenters were working. Beyond 
that extended the neighboring country. You will 
see later why I enter into these details. 

We arranged for board with some excellent people, 
who nourished us well in the English fashion. The 
evening of the first day found us settled as if no 
grief or inquietude had ever troubled our life. 

Towards the middle of the night I was awakened 
by the barking of a dog and by a scratching at the 
door of the kitchen which opened out on the dock- 
yard. This bark was not unknown to me. I got up 
and opened the window. By the moonlight I could 
recognize the dog "Black." I at once descended and 
opened the door for her. As soon as she had entered 
my room, I saw that the poor beast was so wet 



that she certainly must have remained a long time 
in the water. The following morning, I found that 
she had been kept chained on board during the day, 
but that at ten o'clock in the evening, the sailor 
thinking that it would be all right to release her, 
had done so, and she had immediately jumped into 
the sea. As the "Diane" was at anchor about a mile 
from the quay, it is certain that the good beast must 
have swum this entire distance and then have 
searched through the city until she discovered exactly 
the door of the house which was nearest to the room 
where we were sleeping. The captain felt a sort of 
superstition that he must not oppose an attachment 
so clearly shown. "Black" never left us again and 
returned with us to Europe. 

The morning of the day after our arrival, Mr. 
Geyer came to see me with his wife and daughter. 
He spoke French quite well, but the ladies did not 
know a single word. They were delighted to find that 
their language was as familiar to me as it was to 

Mr. Geyer offered to put at our disposal a farm 
which he owned about eighteen miles from Boston. 
Perhaps we should have done well to accept his 
proposition, but my husband wished to be as near 
as possible to Canada, where he would have liked 
to settle. He spoke English with difficulty, although 
he understood it perfectly, and the thought that 
French was, as it still is, the language which is 
usually spoken at Montreal, gave him the desire to 
live in the vicinity of that city. 

In the letters which we had received from Eng- 


land, Mme. d'Henin, while regretting that we had 
not been able to rejoin her in England, sent us letters 
from an American who was one of her friends. This 
lady, Mrs. Church, recommended us to a family 
residing at Albany. She was a daughter of General 
Schuyler who had gained a great reputation during 
the War of Independence. Until a short time before 
the surrender of General Burgoyne, at Saratoga in 
October, 1777, he had commanded the American 
army which opposed the forces led from Canada by 
General Burgoyne to reenforce the English army 
which was in possession of New York. Since the 
peace, General Schuyler, a Hollander by origin, 
lived upon his estate with all his family. His eldest 
daughter had married the head of the Van Rensselaer 
family which was settled at Albany and possessed a 
large fortune in the county. 

Mrs. Church, seeing the great maternal interest 
and tender friendship which animated our aunt, 
wrote to her relatives, and we received on our arrival 
in Boston very pressing letters from General Schuyler 
in which he urged us to come without delay to Al- 
bany, where he assured us we would easily be able 
to establish ourselves. To this end he offered us all 
of his support. We therefore made up our minds to 
accept his proposition. Having sent all of our baggage 
by sea to New York, whence it would be forwarded 
to Albany by the Hudson River, we waited at Boston 
for the news of its arrival at destination before set- 
ting out by land. We preferred to make in this way 
the trip of two hundred miles, as it would permit us 
to see the country and would not be more expensive. 



Before despatching our baggage, we were obliged 
to unpack and repack all the boxes, as they contained 
a lot of articles which would be useless to people, 
who, like ourselves, were going to live in the country 
under conditions similar to those of peasants in 
Europe. There was no indication that the Revolution 
would permit us to return to Europe for a long time, 
and I was happy, I admit, that my husband had 
been received in the United States in a manner 
which turned him from the idea of going back to 
England, where I had a kind of presentiment that 
we would not be well received by my family. 

At Boston I sold everything among the effects 
which we had brought with us which could bring 
us in a little money. As the "Diane" had made the 
voyage without cargo, our baggage, which had cost 
us nothing to transport, was very considerable. We 
disposed of more than half of it; clothing, cloth, laces, 
a piano, music, porcelains everything which would 
be superfluous in our little household was converted 
into money and then into drafts upon persons of 
responsibility at Albany. 

After remaining a month at Boston we set out 
with our two children, Humbert and Seraphine, the 
first of June, and fifteen days later we arrived at 
Albany. We traversed the whole state of Massa- 
chusetts, of which we admired the fertility and the 
air of prosperity. But a sad piece of news had made 
me so melancholy that I did not enjoy anything. 
Before leaving Boston my husband had heard of the 
death of my father who perished on the scaffold the 


thirteenth of April. He awaited the time of our 
journey to tell me, in the hope that the necessary 
distraction of travelling would be a kind of relief for 
me. It was at Northampton, where we passed the 
night, that he resolved to tell me, fearing lest I should 
read of the sad event in some paper. All the news of 
France was reproduced in the American papers as 
soon as it was received in every port of the Union. 

The death of my father strongly affected me, al- 
though I had expected it for some time. Though I 
had seen very little of him for years, I nevertheless 
had for him the most tender affection. I wrote my 
step-mother, who was living at Martinique with my 
sister Fanny, who was then twelve years of age. A 
long time afterwards I received a reply from Mme. 
Dillon, in which she announced her departure for 
England with Fanny and Mile, de La Touche, a 
daughter by her first marriage. The letter was very 
cold, and my step-mother did not trouble herself at 
all over the conditions of my existence in America. 

In spite of everything, as generally happens when 
you see new objects, I was diverted from my grief 
by the beauty of the woods which we had to traverse 
to arrive at Lebanon, the last stop where we passed 
the night before arriving at Albany. A forest, fifty 
miles wide, then separated the state of Massachusetts 
from that of New York. These woods, which probably 
are no longer in existence, afforded a spectacle new to 
me, with all the degrees of vegetation, from the tree 
commencing to spring from the earth, to that which 
had fallen from age. The route laid out through these 
splendid woods was no wider than the wagon track. 



It was a simple opening through the trees which had 
been cut off at the foot and thrown to the right and 
left to leave a free passageway. 

About midway, we stopped for luncheon at an inn 
recently erected, in the middle of these immense 
woods. In America, as soon as a rustic house is built 
in the forest, if it is near a road, even if only one 
person passes during the course of the year, the first 
expenditure of the owner is the purchase of a sign, 
and the first task is the erection of a post to attach 
it. Then he nails to the post below the sign a letter- 
box, and this locality, where the road is hardly laid 
out, is at once designated upon the map of the country 
as a city. 

The wooden house where we stopped had reached 
the second degree of civilization, as it was a frame 
house, that is to say, a house provided with sashes 
and panes of glass. 

At the end of the dinner which we took together, 
the master of the house rose, removed his cap, and, 
with a respectful air, pronounced these words: "We 
will drink the health of our beloved President." You 
would not then have found a cabin, no matter how 
buried it was in the depths of the woods, where this 
act of love for the great Washington did not terminate 
every meal. Sometimes there was also added a toast 
to the "Marquis," Monsieur de La Fayette, who had 
left a well-loved name in the United States. 

At Lebanon there was an establishment of sulphu- 
reous baths which was already quite important. The 
inn was very good, and above all was perfectly neat. 
But the luxury of white bed-linen was then unknown 


in this part of the United States. A request for it 
would only have appeared fantastic and would not 
have been understood. 

The city of Albany, the capital of the state, had 
been almost entirely burned two years before by an 
insurrection of negroes. Slavery was not yet entirely 
abolished in the state of New York, except for 
children to be born during the year of 1794, and only 
when these had reached their twentieth year. This 
very wise measure, which obliged the owners of the 
slaves to raise them, gave, on the other hand, to the 
slave the time to make good to his master, by his 
work, the cost of his education. One of these "blacks," 
a very worthless character, who had hoped that the 
act of the legislature would give him his liberty with- 
out conditions, resolved to be revenged. He enrolled 
several miserable fellows like himself, and on a fixed 
day arranged to set fire to the city, which at this 
time was constructed mainly of wood. This atrocious 
plan succeeded beyond their expectations. Fires were 
started in twenty places at once, and houses and stores, 
with their contents, were destroyed, notwithstanding 
the efforts of the inhabitants, at the head of whom 
labored the old General Schuyler, and all his family. 
A little negress, twelve years old, was arrested at the 
moment she was setting fire to a store with straw 
from the stable of her master. She revealed the names 
of her accomplices. The next day a court assembled 
upon the still smoking ruins, and condemned the 
black chief and six of his accomplices to be hung, 
which sentence was executed at once. 

[ 192] 


buildings which gave to the whole establishment the 
air of a very fine and well-kept farm. I asked of a 
young boy, who opened the gate to permit us to 
descend to the edge of the river, who was the proprie- 
tor of this large mansion. He replied with an air of 
surprise that it was the house of the "patroon." On 
my saying that I did not know what he meant by the 
word "patroon," he was filled with astonishment. 

Two days later we were received in this house with 
a kind attention and friendship which in the future 
never failed us. Mrs. Van Rensselaer was a woman of 
thirty years who spoke French very well. She had 
learned the language while accompanying her father 
to the general headquarters of the American and 
French armies. She was endowed with a superior 
mind and with an extraordinary clearness of judg- 
ment regarding men and things. For years she had 
not gone out of the house, where she was confined 
to her chair by the state of her health for months 
at a time, the beginning of a malady which led her 
to the tomb a few years later. By reading the papers 
she had kept informed as to the state of parties in 
France, the mistakes which had brought on the 
Revolution, the vices of the higher class of society, 
and the folly of the medium classes. With an ex- 
traordinary perspicuity she had penetrated the causes 
and the effects of the troubles of our country better 
than we ourselves. She was very impatient to make 
the acquaintance of Monsieur de Talleyrand, who 
had arrived at Philadelphia, having been dismissed 
from England on very short notice. With his usual 
quickness of apprehension, he had made up his 


mind that France had not yet finished the different 
phases of the Revolution. He brought for us im- 
portant letters from Holland which Mme. d'Henin 
had confided to him. She wrote me, among other 
things, that Monsieur de Talleyrand had come to 
pass, in a country of real liberty, the period of cruel 
folly from which France was suffering. Monsieur de 
Talleyrand asked where he could find me at the end 
of a trip to the interior of the country which he was 
thinking of making in company with Monsieur de 
Beaumetz, his friend, and a millionaire Englishman 
who had just arrived from India. 




En Pension with the Van Burens. Mme. de La Tour du Pin's 
Father-in-Law. Apprenticeship as Farmer. Purchase of 
a Farm. Temporary Residence at Troy. A Log House. 
Unexpected Visit of Monsieur de Talleyrand. News 
of the 9 Thermidor. An Appreciation of Monsieur de 
Talleyrand. Mr. Law. Alexander Hamilton. Begin- 
ning of Winter. First Encounter with the Indians. 
Purchase of the First Negro, Minck. Repairs of the 
Farmhouse. Activity of Mme. de La Tour du^Pin. 

AS we did not wish to remain at Albany, 
General Schuyler took charge of finding us 
a farm which we could buy in the neighbor- 
hood. He advised us in the meantime to arrange for 
three months to live with a family of his acquaintance 
which was located not far from the farm which his 
brother, Colonel Schuyler, occupied with his twelve 
children. Our sojourn at Albany, therefore, was not 
prolonged beyond several days. After this, we went 
to live with Mr. Van Buren to learn American 
manners, as we had made it a condition of living 
with this family that they were not to change in 
any way the customs of the house. It was also ar- 
ranged that Mrs. Van Buren should employ me in 
the housework the same as if I were one of her 
daughters. Monsieur de Chambeau at the same time 


began an apprenticeship with a carpenter of the little 
growing city of Troy situated at a quarter of a mile 
from the Van Buren farm. He set out Monday morn- 
ing and returned Saturday night only to pass Sunday 
with us. We had just received news of the tragic end 
of my father-in=law who perished upon the scaffold 
the twenty-eighth of April, 1794. Monsieur de Cham- 
beau had received at the same time news of the death 
of his own father. As I was a very good seamstress, 
I fashioned for myself my mourning costume, and 
my good hostess, having thus learned to appreciate 
the skill of my needle, found it very pleasant to have 
a seamstress at her command without cost, when she 
would have been obliged to pay a dollar a day and 
board if she had hired one from Albany. 

My husband visited several farms. We were await- 
ing the arrival of the funds which had been sent us 
from Holland before purchasing the farm which we 
expected to acquire. General Schuyler and Mr. Van 
Rensselaer advised my husband to divide his funds 
into three equal parts: A third for the purchase; 
a third for the management, the purchase of negroes, 
horses, cows, agricultural implements and household 
furniture ; and a third part, added to what remained 
of the 12,000 francs brought by us from Bordeaux, 
for a reserve fund to meet unexpected circumstances, 
such as the loss of negroes or cattle and also for living 
expenses the first year. This arrangement became 
our rule of conduct. 

Personally, I resolved to be in a position to fulfill 
my duties as manager of the farm. I began by ac- 
customing myself never to remain in bed after sun- 


rise. At three o'clock in the morning, during the 
summer, I was up and dressed. My room opened 
upon a little lawn stretching down to the river. When 
I say "opened," I am not speaking of the window, 
but of the door which was on a level with the turf. 
Therefore, without moving from my bed, I could see 
the vessels passing. 

The Van Buren farm, an old mansion built in the 
style of Holland, occupied a delightful situation upon 
the bank of the river. Entirely isolated on the land 
side, it had easy facilities of communication with 
the other side of the river. Opposite, on the highway 
to Canada, was situated a large inn where could be 
found all the notices, the papers, and the posters re- 
garding sales. Two or three stage coaches passed 
there every day. Van Buren owned two canoes, and 
the river was always so calm that it was possible to 
cross it at any moment. No road crossed this prop- 
erty. It was bounded at a distance of several hundred 
yards by a mountain covered with fine trees belong- 
ing to the Van Burens. We often said that this farm 
was just what we wanted, but the value was far be- 
yond what we were able to pay. This was the only 
thing which prevented us from acquiring it, for the 
general rule in America at this time was that no 
matter how attached a man might be to his house, 
his farm, his horse or his negro, if you offered him a 
third more than the value, you were assured of 
becoming the owner. 

During the month of September my husband en- 
tered into negotiations with a farmer whose land was 


situated on the other side of the river, upon the road 
from Troy to Schenectady, a distance of two miles 
in the interior. The situation of this farm upon a 
hill overlooking a large expanse of country appeared 
to us agreeable. The house was new, pretty and in 
very good condition. The land was only partially 
under cultivation. There were one hundred and fifty 
acres sown down, as many in woods and pasturage, 
a small kitchen garden of a quarter of an acre full of 
vegetables, and finally a handsome orchard sown 
with red clover and planted with cider apples. These 
trees were ten years old and in full bearing. They 
asked us 12,000 francs. General Schuyler did not 
think the price exorbitant. The property was situated 
at four miles from Albany, upon a route which they 
were going to open up to communicate with the city 
of Schenectady, which was in a thriving situation. 

The proprietor did not wish to move until after 
the snow was well packed. As we had arranged with 
the Van Burens, who evidently had had enough of 
us, for two months only, it was necessary, therefore, 
to look for another home from the first of September 
to the first of November. At Troy, we found for a 
moderate sum, a little wooden house in the midst 
of a large yard, enclosed by a board fence. Here we 
established ourselves, and, as it would be necessary 
for us to purchase some furniture for the farm, we 
immediately acquired what we wanted. These pieces 
of furniture, added to those which we had brought 
from Europe, permitted us to be well settled at once. 
I had engaged a white girl, who was quite satisfactory. 
She was to be married in two months and consented 



to enter my service while awaiting the erection of the 
log house which her future husband was building, 
where they expected to live after their marriage. 

Here is what is meant by a log house. A plan better 
than a description would give an exact idea. A piece 
of land fourteen or fifteen feet square was levelled 
and the construction was begun by building a brick 
chimney, which was the first comfort of the house; 
then the walls were erected. These were composed of 
large pieces of wood, covered with bark, which were 
hewn in such a manner as to join exactly to each 
other. Above the walls was constructed the roof, 
with an opening for the chimney. In the middle a 
door was installed. You see many of these houses in 
Switzerland where they serve exclusively for the use 
of the cattle and the men who guard them. In America 
these houses represent the first degree of shelter and 
often the last, for there are always unfortunate per- 
sons, and these log houses in a prosperous city become 
the refuge of the poor. 

One day at the end of September, I was in the 
yard with a hatchet in my hand, occupied with 
cutting the bone of a leg of mutton which I was pre- 
paring to put on the spit for our dinner. All of a 
sudden, I heard behind me a loud voice which said 
in French: "On ne peut embrocher un gigot avec 
plus de majeste." Turning quickly, I saw Monsieur 
de Talleyrand and Monsieur de Beaumetz. Having 
arrived the evening before at Albany, they had 
learned from General Schuyler where we were. They 
came on his part to invite us to dinner and to pass 
the following day with them at his house. These 



gentlemen were to remain in the city only two days. 
An Englishman who was one of their friends was ac- 
companying them and was very impatient to return 
to New York. However, as Monsieur de Talleyrand 
was very much amused at the sight of my leg of 
mutton, I insisted that he should return the follow- 
ing day to eat it with us. He consented. Leaving the 
children in the care of Monsieur de Chambeau and 
Betsey, we set out for Albany. 

En route we talked a great deal upon all kinds of 
subjects, as people do when they meet after a long 
time. The latest news from Europe, of which they 
were ignorant, owing to their visit to Niagara, from 
which they had only just returned, was more terrible 
than ever. Blood flowed in floods at Paris. Mme. 
Elisabeth, the sister of the King, had perished ; our 
relatives, and our friends were counted among the 
victims of the Terror. 

When we arrived at the house of the good General, 
he was on the stoop. From a distance he made signs 
to us and cried: "Come quickly, come quickly! 
There is great news from France!" We entered the 
sitting-room and every one of us took a paper. Here 
we found the news of the Revolution of the 9 Ther- 
midor; the death of Robespierre and his followers, the 
end of the shedding of blood and the just punishment 
of the Revolutionary Tribunal. 

Monsieur de Talleyrand was rejoicing especially 
that his sister-in-law, Mme. Archambauld de Peri- 
gord, had escaped, when, later in the evening, having 
taken up from the table a paper which he thought 
he had read, he found her name among the terrible 

[201 ] 


list of victims executed the 9 Thermidor, that very 
morning, during the session in which Robespierre 
was denounced. The news of her death painfully 
affected him. His brother, who cared little for his 
wife, had left France in 1790, and as their fortune 
belonged to his wife, he had found it more convenient 
that she should remain in order to avoid confiscation. 
She left three children, a daughter who was later 
Duchesse de Poix, and two sons : Louis, who died in 
the army under Napoleon, and Edmond who married 
the youngest of the daughters of the Duchesse de 
Courlande. Without the news of this cruel event, 
our evening with General Schuyler would have been 
more agreeable. 

Mr. Law, the travelling companion of Messieurs de 
Talleyrand and de Beaumetz, could have passed for 
the most original of Englishmen, all of whom are 
more or less so. He was a tall blond man, forty or 
forty-five years of age, with a handsome sad face. 
That evening upon returning to their inn, he said 
suddenly to Monsieur de Talleyrand : 

"Mon cher, nous ne partirons pas apres-demain." 

" Et pourquoi ? Vous avez retenu votre passage sur 
le sloop qui descend a New- York." 

"Oh! cela est egal. Je ne veux pas partir. Ces gens 
de Troy que vous avez ete chercher ..." 


" Je veux les revoir encore plusieurs fois. Demain, 
vous irez chez eux?" 


"J'irai vous y prendre le soir. Je veux voir cette 
femme-la chez elle." 



Then he became silent and they could not get 
another word out of him. 

The following morning, after having dined with our 
paternal General, Monsieur de Talleyrand and my 
husband returned to Troy. I had preceded them dur- 
ing the morning, for it was necessary for me to prepare 
the dinner for my guests. A little negro drove the 
"carry-all" which could be easily procured at Albany 
for a dollar. 

Monsieur de Talleyrand was amiable as he has 
always been for me, without any variation, with that 
charm of conversation which no one has ever pos- 
sessed to a greater degree than himself. He had 
known me since my childhood, and therefore assumed 
a sort of paternal and gracious tone which was very 
charming. I regretted sincerely to find so many 
reasons for not holding him in esteem, but I could 
not avoid forgetting my disagreeable recollections 
when I had passed an hour in listening to him. As 
he had no moral value himself, by singular contrast, 
he had a horror of that which was evil in others. To 
listen to him without knowing him, you would have 
believed that he was a worthy man. 

That evening Mr. Law, accompanied by Mr. Beau- 
metz, came to take tea. I already had a cow and gave 
them some excellent cream. We went for a walk, and 
Mr. Law offered me his arm and a long conversation 
followed between us. Brother of Lord Landaff, he 
had left while still very young for India, where, for 
a period of fourteen years, he had been in the em- 
ploy of the Government of Patna, or some similar 
post. There he had married a rich Indian widow by 

[203 ] 


whom he had two sons who were still children. His 
wife had died, leaving him a considerable fortune. 
Upon his return to England he had not been happy 
and had formed the resolution of coming to America 
to invest in that country in the purchase of land a 
part of the capital which he had brought back from 

Two days later we were to pass the day at Mrs. 
Van Rensselaer's, with all the Schuylers. Monsieur 
de Talleyrand had been extremely impressed by the 
remarkable culture of Mrs. Van Rensselaer, and 
could not believe that she had not passed years in 
Europe. She had a very clear understanding of 
American affairs and the Revolution, of which 
she had gained a profound and extended knowledge 
through her brother-in-law, Colonel Hamilton, who 
was the friend and also the most intimate confidant of 
Washington. Colonel Hamilton was expected at Al- 
bany where he intended to pass some time with his 
father-in-law, General Schuyler. He had just resigned 
the position of Secretary of the Treasury, which he 
had held since the peace. It was to him that the 
country owed the good order which had been es- 
tablished in this branch of the government of the 
United States. Monsieur de Talleyrand knew him 
and had the very highest opinion of him. But he 
found it very remarkable that a man of his value, 
and endowed with talents so superior, should leave 
the Ministry to resume the profession of lawyer, giv- 
ing as his reason for this decision that the position 
of Minister did not give him the means of bringing up 
his family of eight children. Such a pretext seemed to 



Talleyrand very singular and, so to speak, even a 
little naif. 

At the end of the dinner, Mr. Law took Talleyrand 
by the arm and led him into the garden where they 
passed some time. The departure of these gentlemen 
was fixed for the following day, and they had formed 
the plan of coming to Troy in the morning to say 
adieu to us. After his conversation with Talleyrand, 
Mr. Law stated that he had letters to write and re- 
turned to his inn. Monsieur de Talleyrand then led 
my husband and myself to a corner of the salon where 
he related what Monsieur Law had said, in these 
terms: "My good friend, I am very fond of these 
people, and my intention is to lend them a thousand 
louis. They have just purchased a farm. It will be 
necessary for them to have cattle, horses, negroes 
and so on. As long as they inhabit the country they 
will not repay my loan. Besides, I would not accept 
it. It is necessary for me to help them in order to be 
happy. If they refuse, I shall fall ill. They will render 
me a real service in accepting my offer." 

Then he added: "Cette femme, si bien elevee! qui 
fait la cuisine ... qui trait sa vache ... qui lave son 
linge . . . Cette idee m'est insupportable . . . elle me 
tue . . . Voila deux nuits que je n'en ai pas dormi." 

Talleyrand was a man of too good taste to turn to 
ridicule such a feeling. He asked us very seriously 
what reply he should make. To tell the truth we 
were very profoundly touched by this proposition, 
notwithstanding the originality with which it was 
made. We requested Monsieur de Talleyrand to ex- 
press to his friend our very sincere thanks and to 



assure him that for the moment we were able to take 
care of all the demands of our establishment, but that 
later on, if, owing to some unexpected circumstance 
we found ourselves in need, we would promise to let 
him know. This promise which he received that even- 
ing quieted him a little. The following morning he 
came to say adieu. The poor man was as embarrassed 
as if he had done something wrong. 

We were awaiting with impatience the first snow- 
fall and the moment when the river would be frozen 
for three or four months. In order to have the ice 
solid, it is necessary that the freezing should take 
place during the twenty-four hours, and that the ice 
should be two or three feet thick. This peculiarity is 
due entirely to the locality and the immense forests 
which cover the large continent to the west and north 
of the settlements of the United States, but is not 
due to the latitude. It is probable that at the present 
writing the Great Lakes are now almost entirely 
surrounded by settlements, and that the climate of 
the region in which we lived has notably changed. 

From the twenty-fifth of October until the first of 
November the sky was covered with a mass of clouds 
so thick that the day was obscured. A northwest 
wind, bitterly cold, blew with great violence and 
every one made preparations to put aside whatever 
could be covered up by the snow. We took out of the 
river the boats, the canoes and the barks, turning 
upside down those which had no decks. Everybody 
at this time displayed the greatest activity. Then the 
snow commenced to fall with such abundance that 



you could not see a man at ten paces. Ordinarily the 
ice formed two or three days before. The first care 
was to trace with pine branches a wide route along 
one of the banks. In the same way were marked the 
places where the border was not steep and where one 
could pass upon the ice. It would have been dangerous 
to pass elsewhere, for in many places the ice lacked 
solidity upon the edges. 

We had acquired moccasins, a kind of foot-covering 
of buffalo-skin, made and sold by the Indians. The 
price of these articles was sometimes quite high when 
they were embroidered with dyed bark or with 
porcupine quills. 

It was in purchasing these moccasins that I saw 
the Indians for the first time. They were the last 
survivors of the Mohawk tribe whose territory had 
been purchased or taken by the Americans since the 
peace. The Onondagas, established near Lake Cham- 
plain, also were selling their forests and disappearing 
at this epoch. From time to time some of them came 
to us. I was a little surprised when I met for the first 
time a man and woman practically nude promenading 
tranquilly upon the highway, without any one seem- 
ing to find this remarkable. But I soon became ac- 
customed to this, and, when I was settled on the farm, 
I saw them almost every day during the summer. 

We took advantage of the first moment that the 
route was traced and trodden down to commence 
our moving. The funds which we awaited from Hol- 
land had arrived and my grandmother, Lady Dillon, 
who had died the nineteenth of June, had left me a 
legacy of 300 guineas, although she had never seen 



me. With this money we bought our farm utensils. 
We already possessed four good horses and two work- 
sleds. A third served for our personal use and was 
called the pleasure sleigh. It could hold six persons. 
It was constructed in the form of a very low box. 
At the back was a seat, a little wider than the body of 
the sleigh, which was placed upon a box in which we 
could put small packages, and it had a back higher 
than your head, which broke the force of the wind. 
The other seats two in number were composed 
of simple planks. Buffalo-robes and sheepskins cov- 
ered the feet. Two horses were attached and we were 
carried very swiftly. 

We accordingly set out to establish ourselves on 
our farm, although the sellers were still occupying it. 
They were in no hurry to move out, and we were 
literally obliged to put them out of the door. 

At this time we bought a negro, and this purchase, 
which seemed to be the most simple thing in the 
world, produced in my case a feeling so new that I 
shall remember it all my life. 

A few days after our arrival, the people from whom 
we had purchased the farm finally went away, leav- 
ing us the house, which was dirty and badly kept. 
They had abandoned the property after having occu- 
pied it for several years, because it had become too 
small for them and they were going to take possession 
of another place on the other side of the river. 

As soon as we were alone in the house, we spent a 
little money in arranging it. The house comprised 
only the rooms on the ground floor and was raised 


1750 - 1794 


five feet above the earth. At the time it was built 
they had commenced by constructing a wall, buried 
six feet in the ground and rising two feet above the 
surface. This part formed the cellar and the milk- 
room. Above, the rest of the house was of wood, as 
you will still see frequently in Switzerland. The 
vacant spaces in the carpentry work were filled with 
sun-dried bricks which formed a wall very compact 
and very warm. 

Monsieur de Chambeau had well profited by his 
four months of apprenticeship with the master- 
carpenter and had really become a very good work- 
man. Besides, it would have been impossible for him 
to think of idleness, for my activity admitted of no 
excuse. My husband and he could have applied to 
me those words of Talleyrand on Napoleon: "Celui 
qui donnerait un peu de paresse a cet homme, serait 
le bienfaiteur de 1'univers." In short, during all the 
time that I lived at the farm, well or ill, the sun 
never found me in my bed. 




Family Life at the Farm. The Arrival of Spring. The 
Indians. Their Passion for Rum. The Shakers. A 
Visit to Their Establishment. A Visit from Messieurs de 
Liancourt and Dupetit-Thouars. Talleyrand and the 
Banker Morris. Plans for a Trip to Philadelphia and 
New York. 

MY butter had become very popular. I ar- 
ranged it carefully in little rolls formed in 
in a mould marked with our cipher, and 
placed it attractively in a very neat basket upon a 
fine serviette. It was for general sale. We had eight 
cows which were well fed, and our butter did not feel 
the effects of the winter. My cream was always 
fresh. This brought me in every day quite a little 
money, and the sledge-load of wood also sold for at 
least two dollars. 

Our slave, Prime, although he did not know how 
to read or write, nevertheless kept his accounts with 
such exactitude that there was never the slightest 
error. He often brought back some fresh meat which 
he had bought at Albany, and, upon his return, my 
husband, from his report, wrote out the sum of the 
receipts and expenditures. 

Property like ours was generally burdened with a 
small rent which was paid either in grain or in money. 



Our farm paid to the patroon, Van Rensselaer, 
twenty-two pecks of corn, either in kind or in money. 
All of the farms in his immense estate, which was 
eighteen miles wide by forty-two miles long, were 
held under the same conditions. 

One of our neighbors at Albany, Monsieur De- 
jardin, had brought from Europe a complete suite of 
furniture, and, among other things, a fine library of 
a thousand or fifteen hundred books. He loaned these 
books to us, and my husband or Monsieur de Cham- 
beau read to me during the evening, while I worked. 

We took our dejeuner at eight o'clock, and our 
dinner at one o'clock. In the evening at nine o'clock 
we had tea, with slices of bread, our excellent butter 
and some fine Stilton cheese which Monsieur de 
Talleyrand sent us. With this consignment, he had 
sent, for me personally, a present which gave me 
the greatest pleasure. This was a very fine woman's 
saddle, with a bridle and other accessories complete. 
No gift had ever come in more a propos. We had 
indeed bought with the farm, and "to boot," two 
handsome mares, exactly similar in coat and form, 
but very dissimilar in character. One had the tempera- 
ment of a lamb, and, although she had never had a 
bit in her mouth, I mounted her the very day that 
she was saddled for the first time. In a few days I 
could harness her as well as though she had been a 
work-horse. Her manners were very agreeable, and 
when you wished, she would follow you like a dog. 
The other was a regular devil, whom all the skill of 
Monsieur de Chambeau, an old Cavalry officer, 
could not succeed in subduing. We were able to 



master her only in the spring, when we made her 
work between two strong horses. The first time she 
was hitched up in this way, she was so furious that 
at the end of ten minutes she was wet with sweat. 
In time, however, she calmed down and made an 
excellent mare. She was worth at least twenty or 
thirty louis. 

A propos of the springtime, it is interesting to 
recount with what promptitude it arrived in these 
parts. The latitude of forty-three degrees then made 
itself felt and resumed all its empire. The northwest 
wind, after having prevailed throughout the winter, 
ceased suddenly during the first days of March. The 
southerly breezes commenced to blow, and the snow 
melted with such speed that the roads were trans- 
formed into torrents during two days. As our dwell- 
ing occupied the slope of a hill, we were soon free 
from our white mantle. During the winter, the snow, 
three or four feet deep, had protected the grass and 
the plants from the ice. Therefore, in less than a 
week, the fields were green and were covered with 
flowers, and an innumerable variety of plants of 
every kind, unknown in Europe, filled the woods. 

The Indians, who had not appeared during the 
entire winter, began to visit the farms. One of them, 
at the beginning of the cold weather, had asked my 
permission to cut some branches of a kind of willow 
tree which had shoots, large as my thumb and five 
or six feet long. He promised me to weave some 
baskets during the winter season. I counted little 
upon this promise, as I did not believe that Indians 



would keep their word to this degree, although I 
had been so informed. I was mistaken. Within a 
week after the snow had melted, my Indian came 
back with a load of baskets. He gave me six of them 
which were nested in one another. The first, which 
was round and very large, was so well made that, 
when filled with water, it retained it like an earthen 
vessel. I wished to pay him for the baskets, but he 
absolutely refused and would accept only a bowl of 
buttermilk of which the Indians are very fond. I 
was very careful not to give my visitors any rum, 
for which they have a great liking. But I had in an 
old paste-board box some remnants (artificial flowers, 
feathers, pieces of ribbons of all colors and glass 
beads, which were formerly much in vogue) and I 
distributed these among the squaws, who were 
delighted with them. 

I had been suffering for a period of two months 
with a double intermittent fever. This attack which 
lasted from five to six hours interfered very much 
with my daily work. It enfeebled me and took away 
my appetite, and, although I never lay down, it 
caused me to shiver even in a temperature of eighty- 
five degrees, and made me incapable of any work. 
Under these circumstances, a young girl, my neighbor, 
who lived not far from us in the woods with her 
parents, came to my aid. She was a seamstress by 
trade and worked perfectly. She arrived at the farm 
in the morning and remained all day long, and asked 
no wages except her meals. 

My son, Humbert, was then over five years of age, 


although to judge by his size, any one would have 
thought he was at least seven. He spoke English 
perfectly much better even than he did French. 
A lady of Albany, a friend of the Van Rensselaers 
and wife of a minister of the Church of England, had 
taken a great fancy to him. Several times already 
he had been to pass the afternoon with her. One day 
she proposed to me to take charge of the boy during 
the summer, promising me to teach him to read and 
write. She said that in the country I had not the 
time to look after him, that he would take my fever, 
and added several other reasons to persuade me to 
yield to her wish. 

This lady, whose name was Mrs. Ellison, was about 
forty years of age and had never had any children, 
which had been a great grief to her. I ended by con- 
senting to let her have Humbert, and he was very 
happy and very well cared for with her. This ar- 
rangement relieved me of a great deal of care. On 
the farm I was always afraid that he would have 
some accident with the horses of which he was very 
fond. It was almost impossible to prevent him from 
accompanying the negroes to the fields, and above 
all from mingling with the Indians, with whom he 
always wished to go away. I had been told that the 
Indians sometimes kidnapped children. Therefore, 
when I saw them hanging for hours around my door 
I imagined they were awaiting a favorable moment 
to take my son. 

A nice wagon, loaded with fine vegetables, often 
passed before our door. It belonged to the Shakers, 


who were located at a distance of six or seven miles. 
The driver of the wagon always stopped at our house, 
and I never failed to talk with him about their 
manner of life, their customs, and their belief. He 
urged us to visit their establishment, and we decided 
to go there some day. It is known that this sect of 
Quakers belonged to the reformed school of the orig- 
inal Quakers who took refuge in America with Penn. 

After the war of 1763, an English woman set her- 
self up for a reformer apostle. She made many 
proselytes in the states of Vermont and Massa- 
chusetts. Several families put their property in 
common and bought land in the then uninhabited 
parts of the country, but, as the clearings approached 
and reached them, they sold their establishment in 
order to retire further into the wilderness. 

Those of whom I speak were then protected on all 
sides by a forest several miles deep. They therefore 
had no reason as yet to fear their neighbors. Their 
establishment was bounded on one side by woods 
which covered 20,000 acres, belonging to the city 
of Albany, and on the other by the river Mohawk. 
Without doubt, at the present writing, they no 
longer live in this locality where I knew them, and 
have retired beyond the Great Lakes. This establish- 
ment was a branch of their headquarters at Lebanon, 
which was located in the large forest through which 
we passed in going from Boston to Albany. 

Our negro, Prime, who knew all the routes in our 
neighborhood, conducted us to their place. At the 
start we were at least three hours in the woods, fol- 
lowing a road which was hardly laid out. Then after 


having passed the barriers which marked the limits 
of the Shaker property, the road became more distinct 
and better marked. But we still had to pass through 
a very thick forest, broken here and there by fields 
where cows and horses were pastured at liberty. 
Finally, we came out in a vast clearing traversed by 
a pretty stream and surrounded on all sides by woods. 
In the midst was erected the establishment, com- 
posed of a large number of nice wooden houses, a 
church, schools, and a community house of brick. 

The Shaker, whose acquaintance we had made, 
greeted us with kindness, although with a certain 
reserve. They showed Prime the stable in which he 
could put up his horses, for there was no inn. We 
had been advised that nobody would offer us any- 
thing, and that our guide would be the only one to 
speak to us. He first led us to a superb kitchen-garden 
perfectly cultivated. Everything was in a state of 
the greatest prosperity, but without the least evi- 
dence of elegance. Many men and women were 
working at the cultivation or the weeding of the 
garden. The sale of vegetables represented the 
principal source of revenue to the community. 

We visited the schools for the boys and girls, the 
immense community stables, the dairies, and the 
factories in which they produced the butter and 
cheese. Everywhere we remarked upon the order 
and the absolute silence. The children, boys and 
girls alike, were clothed in a costume of the same 
form and the same color. The women of all ages wore 
the same kind of garments of gray wool, well kept 
and very neat. Through the windows we could see 


the looms of the weavers, and the pieces of cloth 
which they were dyeing, also the workshops of the 
tailors and dress-makers. But not a word or a song 
was to be heard anywhere. 

Finally, a bell rang. Our guide told us that this 
announced the hour of prayer and asked if we would 
like to be present. We consented very willingly, and 
he led us towards the largest of the houses, which no 
exterior sign distinguished from the others. At the 
door I was separated from my husband and Monsieur 
de Chambeau, and we were placed at opposite 
extremities of the immense hall, on either side of a 
chimney in which was burning a magnificent fire. It 
was then the beginning of spring and the cold was 
still felt in these large woods. This hall was 
about 150 or 200 feet long by 50 feet wide. It was 
entered by two lateral doors. The building was very 
light and the walls, without being ornamented in any 
way, were perfectly smooth and painted a light blue. 
At each end of the hall there was a small platform 
upon which was placed a wooden arm-chair. 

I was seated at the corner of the chimney, and my 
guide had enjoined silence, which was all the easier 
for me as I was alone. While keeping absolutely 
silent, I had the opportunity to admire the floor, 
which was constructed of pine wood, without any 
knots, and of a rare perfection and whiteness. Upon 
this fine floor were drawn in different directions 
lines represented by copper nails, brilliantly polished, 
the heads of which were level with the floor. I en- 
deavored to divine what could be the use of these 
lines, which did not seem to have any connection 


with each other, when at the last stroke of the bell 
the two side doors opened, and I saw enter on my 
side fifty or sixty young girls or women, preceded 
by one who was older who seated herself upon one 
of the arm-chairs. No child accompanied them. 

The men were arranged in the same manner at 
the opposite side, where were my husband and Mon- 
sieur de Chambeau. I then observed that the women 
stood upon these lines of nails, taking care not to 
cross them with their toes. They remained immobile 
until the moment when the woman seated in the arm- 
chair gave a sort of groan or cry which was neither 
speech nor song. All then changed their places, and I 
imagined that this kind of stifled cry which I had 
heard must represent some command. After several 
evolutions, they stopped, and the old woman mur- 
mured quite a long string of words in a language 
which was absolutely unintelligible, but in which 
were mingled, it seemed to me, some English words. 
After this, they went out in the same order in which 
they had entered. Having thus visited all parts of 
the establishment, we took leave of our kind guide 
and entered our wagon to return home, very little 
edified regarding the hospitality of the Shakers. 

When the Shaker who came to sell vegetables and 
fruit passed before our farm, I always bought some- 
thing. He was never willing to take money from my 
hand. If I remarked that the price which he asked 
was too high, he replied: "Just as you please." Then 
I placed upon the corner of the table the sum which 
I thought sufficient. If the price was satisfactory, he 
took it ; if not, he climbed into his wagon, without 


saying a word. He was a man of very respectable 
appearance, always perfectly dressed in a coat, vest 
and trousers of gray homespun cloth of their own 

One thing had rendered me at once very popular 
with my neighbors. The day that we took possession 
of our farm, I adopted the costume worn by the 
women on the neighboring places, that is to say, a 
skirt of blue and black striped wool, a little camisole 
of light brown cotton cloth, a handkerchief of the 
same color, with my hair parted as it is worn now, 
and caught up with a comb. In winter, I wore gray 
or blue woolen stockings, with moccasins or slippers 
of buffalo skin; in summer, cotton stockings, and 
shoes. I never put on a dress or a corset, except to go 
into the city. Among the effects which I had brought 
to America were two or three riding-costumes. These 
I used to transform myself into a dame elegante, when 
I wished to pay a visit to the Schuylers or Van 
Rensselaers, for very frequently we dined and after- 
wards passed the evening with them, particularly 
when it was moonlight, and above all, during the 
period of snow. 

At the beginning of the summer of 1795, we re- 
ceived a visit from the Due de Liancourt. He has 
spoken of this very kindly in his "Voyage en Ame- 
rique." He came from the new settlements formed 
since the War of Independence upon the banks of 
the Mohawk and on the territory ceded by the 
Oneida nation. Monsieur de Talleyrand had given 
him letters of introduction to the Schuylers and Van 


Rensselaers. After a sojourn of a day with us, I 
offered to take him to Albany to present him to 
these two families. Had he taken seriously my woolen 
skirt and my cotton camisole? I do not know, but 
the fact is that he seemed to begin to understand 
that we had not entirely become beggars, when he 
saw me appear with a pretty robe and a very well 
made hat, and when my negro, Minck, brought up a 
fine wagon to which were hitched two excellent 
horses in a harness which shone brilliantly. This was 
the moment for me to exclaim that for nothing in 
the world would I take him to see Mrs. Van Rensse- 
laer or Mrs. Schuyler, if he did not himself make a 
little change in his toilette. With his garments covered 
with mud and dust, torn in several places, he had 
the appearance of a shipwrecked sailor, escaped from 
the pirates, and nobody would have thought that in 
this bizarre get-up was concealed a first gentleman 
of the Chamber. We arranged our conditions: I 
agreed to take him to see Mrs. Van Rensselaer and 
Mrs. Schuyler, and he consented to open his trunk, 
which he had left at the inn in Albany, in order to 
clothe himself in a more conventional manner. Then 
I went to pay a visit in the city while waiting for 
him to change his costume. 

After we had made our calls, he promised to return 
the next day to the farm, and I left Albany, taking 
back with me his travelling companion, Monsieur 
Dupetit-Thouars. As for Monsieur de Liancourt, I 
did not see him again. The fever with which I was 
suffering at the time made it impossible for me to go 
out. Besides, this philanthropic grand seigneur had 



extremely displeased me, and my friends did not 
like him any better. The spirituelle Mrs. Van Rensse- 
laer had sized him up from the first as a man who 
was very ordinary. Perhaps I shall be reproached 
with ingratitude for treating him in this way, for 
he spoke of me in the most flattering manner in his 

Several days after the visit of Monsieur de Lian- 
court, about the month of June, we received from 
Monsieur de Talleyrand a letter in which he in- 
formed us of a fact that might have caused us the 
most serious consequences, and at the same time 
spoke of the important service which he had rendered 
us under the circumstances. The balance of the funds 
which we had received from Holland, 20,000 or 25,000 
francs, had been deposited with the Morris Bank at 
Philadelphia. Monsieur de Talleyrand had offered to 
withdraw this money for us, and was only awaiting 
the formal authorization of my husband to do so. 
By a chance which was really providential, he learned 
one night through an indiscretion that Mr. Morris 
was going to announce his failure the next day. 
Without losing a moment, he went to the house of 
the banker, forced his door, the entrance of which 
had been denied him, and penetrated his cabinet. 
He told him that he was aware of his situation and 
forced him to place in his hands the Holland drafts 
which had only come into his possession as a de- 
positary. Mr. Morris was constrained by fear of the 
dishonor which would have resulted to him from 
an abuse of confidence, which Monsieur de Talley- 



rand would not have hesitated to proclaim. The only 
condition he made was that Monsieur de La Tour du 
Pin should sign an acknowledgement of the payment 
of these funds. Monsieur de Talleyrand therefore 
urged my husband to come to Philadelphia to arrange 
this matter. At the same time, he advised me to 
accompany my husband, for, having consulted several 
physicians, he said, regarding the persistency of my 
fever, all were of the opinion that only a journey 
would cure me of it. 

Mr. Law possessed a charming mansion at New 
York, and had already urged us several times to 
come and make him a visit. The haying would not 
begin before another month, and Monsieur de Cham- 
beau was familiar with all the details of the farm 
work. There was therefore nothing to stand in the 
way of this trip. Our neighbor, Susy, the young girl 
of whom 1 have already spoken, agreed to come and 
take my place to look after my little girl. As for my 
son, Humbert, who was still with Mrs. Ellison at 
Albany, he would not even know of our absence. 




Fulton's Invention. The Trip to New York. The Hudson 
River. West Point. Sojourn at New York. Alexander 
Hamilton. The Yellow Fever. Precipitate Departure. 
General Gates. Return to the Farm. Death of Sera- 
phine. Gathering the Apples and Making Cider. The 
Crop of Corn. Ice in the River. Recovery of a Portrait 
of the Queen. 

STEAMBOATS had not yet been invented, al- 
though this kind of motor power was already 
in use in some factories. We even had, our- 
selves, a steam turnspit which acted perfectly, and 
which we used every week, in cooking either the 
roast beef for our Sunday dinner, or the immense 
brown and white turkeys, which are of a species very 
superior to that found in Europe. But Fulton had 
not yet applied this discovery to boats; and, since I 
have touched on this subject, I will relate at once 
how the thought was suggested to him. 

Between Long Island and New York there is an 
arm of the sea a mile or more wide, which small 
boats can cross without interruption whenever the 
weather permits. Since it is not a river, there is no 
current, and the tide is only apparent from the 
elevation of the water and does not interfere with 
navigation. A poor sailor had lost his two legs in 

[223 ] 


battle. Being still young and vigorous, he had a great 
deal of strength in his arms. The idea came to him to 
place athwart his bark canoe a round pole with wings 
at the two extremities, at the right and left of the 
boat, which he was able to turn at will while seated 
in the stern. This ingenious system was observed by 
Fulton one day when he had hired the boat to go to 
Brooklyn on Long Island, and this gave him the 
first idea of applying steam to navigation. 

Trade with Albany, which was very considerable 
at this time, was carried on by large sloops and barks. 
Nearly all of these boats had good rooms, with a 
fine saloon at the stern, and carried passengers. The 
descent to New York took about thirty-six hours, 
as it was necessary to remain at anchor during the 
period of the rising tides. The boats always en- 
deavored therefore to leave Albany at daybreak. 
We accordingly went on board one of these barks in 
the evening, and before sunrise we were already far 
from the point of our departure. 

The North or Hudson River is extremely beautiful. 
The banks, covered with houses or pretty little 
villages, spread out on either side, until you reach 
the very high and steep chain of mountains which 
runs the length of the continent of North America 
and which has various names in different localities: 
Green Mountains, Appalachians, or Alleghanies. The 
river, before entering the highlands, forms a large 
basin over a mile wide, similar to that part of the 
Lake of Geneva called Le Fond du Lac, with this 
difference that here the mountains rise from the edge 
of the water. The opening through which the river 



passes, situated between two steep mountains, can 
be seen only when you are very close to it. The water 
is so deep that a large frigate could be moored to the 
side of this passage without danger of touching 
bottom. The whole morning of the day after our em- 
barkment, we were sailing in the midst of these 
beautiful mountains. Then, the tide having left us, 
we went ashore to visit the historical place of West 
Point, celebrated for the treason of General Arnold 
and the fate of Major Andre. 

Although I have visited many different places, and 
admired not a few great effects of nature, I have 
never seen anything comparable with the pass of 
West Point. Perhaps it has now lost some of its 
beauty, if they have cut down the fine trees which 
dipped their ancient branches in the waters of the 
river. These mountain-sides were useless for cultiva- 
tion. I therefore hope, from my love of nature, that 
the desire of making clearings has not touched them. 

We arrived at New York on the morning of the 
third day and here we found Monsieur de Talley- 
rand with Mr. Law. Their reception was most friendly. 
Both were alarmed at my thinness and the change 
in my appearance. They therefore would not hear 
of my proposed trip to Philadelphia, which it was 
necessary to make by stage. It meant that I would 
have to pass two nights on the way. My husband 
undertook the journey alone, and I was confided to 
the good care of Mrs. Foster, the housekeeper of 
Mr. Law. This good woman exhausted for my benefit 
all the prescriptions of her medical repertoire. Four 



or five times a day she came to me with a little cup 
of some kind of bouillon which she urged me to take. 
I submitted willingly to this regime as I had been 
much disturbed by the lamentations of Monsieur de 
Talleyrand over my decline. 

The three weeks which we passed in New York 
have remained in my memory as a most agreeable 
period. My husband returned at the end of four days. 
He had much admired the fine city of Philadelphia. 
But what I envied him most was the fact that he 
had seen the great Washington, who was my hero. 
Even to-day I cannot console myself at having 
missed seeing this great man, of whom his friend, 
Mr. Hamilton, had spoken to me so often. I found 
again at New York the whole Hamilton family. I 
had been present at the time of their arrival at Al- 
bany in a wagon driven by Mr. Hamilton himself, 
when he came to resume the practice of his profession 
as a lawyer, after having resigned the position of 
Secretary of the Treasury. As I have already stated, 
he gave up this position, to have a better chance of 
leaving a small fortune to his children. Mr. Hamilton 
at that time was about thirty-eight years of age. Al- 
though he had never been in Europe, he nevertheless 
spoke our language like a Frenchman. His remarkable 
mind, and the clearness of his thoughts, mingled well 
with the originality of Monsieur de Talleyrand and 
the vivacity of Monsieur de La Tour du Pin. Every 
night these distinguished men, with two or three 
others, came for tea. Seated upon the terrace, the 
conversation which was started between them lasted 
until midnight and sometimes later. At one moment, 



Mr. Hamilton would relate the story of the beginnings 
of the War of Independence, of which the dull memoirs 
of that imbecile, Lafayette, have since rendered the 
details so insipid. At another, Mr. Law would speak 
of his sojourn in India, of his administration of 
Patna, where he had been Governor, of the elephants 
and the palanquins. Between them all, the conversa- 
tion never languished. Mr. Law enjoyed these even- 
ings so much that when we spoke of our departure, 
he became very sad and said to his butler, "Foster, 
if they leave me, I am a dead man." 

Three weeks had rolled around when the news 
became current one evening that yellow fever had 
broken out in a street very near to Broadway, where 
we were living. That very night my husband and I 
were very ill; I think from having eaten too many 
bananas or pineapples or other fruits brought from 
the Islands by the same boat which had carried the 
fever. Fearing to be shut in by the quarantine, I 
resolved to leave at once, and at daybreak our trunk 
was packed and we had gone to reserve our places 
on board a sloop which was ready to set sail. We 
then returned to see Mr. Law and make our adieux. 
He decided then to leave also, under the pretext of 
going to visit some property in the new city of 
Washington, which they were beginning to build. In 
these purchases he compromised the greater part of 
his fortune. Our departure was so precipitate that 
I did not even see Monsieur de Talleyrand. He was 
not yet up when we were already far from New York. 

On our return we saw with the same admiration 
the fine pass at West Point, and this time we made 



a long promenade on land during the six hours our 
boat remained at anchor. We ascended the hill upon 
which was situated the inn which was the place of 
the last interview between Arnold and Andre. At 
New York I had seen the aged General Gates who 
had known all the French officers and loved to talk 
of them. I had been cautioned not to speak of the 
incident of Major Andre, a subject of conversation 
which was very painful to him not because he re- 
proached himself with the sentence, which was pro- 
nounced in conformity with rules of military justice, 
but because it recalled to him the terrible reprisals 
made by the English, who had executed a number of 
American prisoners. 

I found my house in the best of order, although 
Monsieur de Chambeau did not expect us. My little 
girl was also in very good health. This absence of a 
month had appeared long to me, in spite of the very 
agreeable society in which I had lived. The yellow 
fever made great ravages that year at New York, and 
I congratulated myself that we had left so quickly. 

I resumed with new ardor my rural occupations. 
My fever had departed with the change of air and 
my strength had returned. The work of the dairy 
was resumed, and the pretty designs moulded upon 
the butter-balls informed my customers of my return. 
Our orchard promised a magnificent harvest of apples, 
and our barn contained grain for the whole winter. 
Our negroes, stimulated by our example, worked 
with good spirit. They were better clothed and better 
nourished than those of our neighbors. 



I was feeling very happy under these circumstances 
when God struck me a most unexpected blow, and, 
as I then imagined, the most cruel and terrible that 
one could endure. Alas, I have since experienced 
others which have surpassed it in severity. My little 
Seraphine was taken from us by a sudden illness very 
common in this part of the country a kind of 
infant paralysis. She died in a few hours without 
losing consciousness. The physician from Albany, 
whom Monsieur de Chambeau had gone to bring, 
as soon as she began to suffer, gave us no hope that 
she would live and declared that this malady was 
then very common in the country and that no remedy 
was known. The young Schuyler who only the day 
before had been playing with my daughter during 
the afternoon succumbed to the same trouble a few 
hours later and rejoined her in Heaven. This cruel 
event threw us all into a state of sadness and mortal 
discouragement. We brought Humbert home, and I 
endeavored to obtain distraction from my grief in 
occupying myself with his education. He was then 
five and a half years old. His intelligence was very 
well developed. He spoke English perfectly and read 
it easily. 

There was no Catholic priest either in Albany or 
in the neighborhood. My husband, who did not wish 
to have a Protestant minister called, himself per- 
formed the last rites for our child, and placed her in 
a little enclosure which had been arranged to serve 
as a cemetery for the inhabitants of the farm. It 
was situated in the middle of our woods. Almost every 
day I went to kneel upon the grave, the last resting 



place of the child whom I had so much loved, and 
it was there that God gave to me a change of heart. 

Up to this period of my life, although I was far 
from being irreligious, I had never taken much inter- 
est in religion. During the course of my education, 
no one had ever spoken to me of religion. During the 
first years of my childhood I had had, under my eyes, 
the worst possible examples. In the high society of 
Paris, I had been witness of scandals, so often re- 
peated, that they had become familiar to me to the 
point of no longer moving me. In this way every 
thought of morality had been benumbed in my 
heart, but the hour had come when I had to recognize 
the hand which had smitten me. 

I do not know exactly how to describe the trans- 
formation which came over me. It seemed to me as 
if a voice cried out to me that I must change my 
whole being. Kneeling upon the grave of my child, 
I implored her to obtain from God, who had already 
recalled her to Him, my pardon and a little relief 
from my distress. My prayer was heard. God ac- 
corded me then the grace to know and serve Him. 
He gave me the courage to bend very humbly under 
the stroke which had smitten me and to prepare my- 
self to support without complaining the new griefs, 
by which in His justice He deemed it proper to try 
me in the future. From that day the divine will 
found me submissive and resigned. 

Although all joy had disappeared from our house- 
hold, it was none the less necessary for us to continue 
our work, and we encouraged each other, my husband 



and I, to find distraction in the obligation under 
which we were not to remain a moment idle. The 
harvest of the apples approached. It promised to be 
very abundant, for our orchard had the finest ap- 
pearance. We could count upon the trees as many 
apples as there were leaves. The autumn before we 
had essayed what is known at Bordeaux as une 
fa$on. This consists in turning over with a spade a 
square of four or five feet around each tree, some- 
thing which had never been done there before. The 
Americans indeed have no idea of the effect which 
that produces upon vegetation; but when, in the 
springtime, they saw our trees covered with blossoms, 
they looked upon us as sorcerers. 

Another act brought us great reputation. Instead 
of buying for our cider new barrels made of very 
porous wood, we succeeded in finding at Albany 
several casks which had contained Bordeaux and also 
some marked cognac which were well known to us. 
Then we arranged our cellar with the same care as 
if it were to contain wine of the Medoc. We borrowed 
a cider mill to crush the apples. A horse twenty- 
three years old which General Schuyler had given 
me was hitched to it. Here is the story of this horse 
which I have not previously recounted : 

The horse had carried him through the war, and 
the General wished to let him die a happy death. 
It seemed as though he had almost reached the end 
of his days, when our negro, Prime, saw him in the 
pasture dragging one foot after the other and reduced 
to skin and bones. Prime requested me to ask the 
General to give me the horse, which he did with 



pleasure. He had been a magnificent pure-blooded 
animal, but he no longer had any teeth. Prime had 
much difficulty in leading the poor beast the four 
miles which separated the pasture from our stable. 
Every day he gave him a mixture of oats and boiled 
corn, hay finely cut up, carrots and so on. This 
fodder in abundance restored to the fine animal the 
vigor of his youth. At the end of the month I could 
mount him every day, and soon at a little gallop he 
carried me even to Albany without making a false 
step. They refused to believe that he was the same 
horse. This display of skill greatly increased the 
reputation of Prime. 

But to return to our apples. The cider mill was 
very primitive. It consisted of two pieces of channelled 
wood which fitted into each other, and was turned by 
our horse attached to a pole. The apples were fed 
into a hopper, and when the juice had filled a large 
tub, it was taken to the cellar and poured into the 

The whole operation was very simple and, as we 
had very fine weather, this harvest was a charming 
recreation. My son who rode the horse during the 
day was convinced that without him nothing could 
have been done. 

When the work was finished, we found ourselves 
provided with eight or ten barrels to sell, in addition 
to what we had reserved for ourselves. Our reputation 
for honesty was so great that people had confidence 
that we would not put any water into our cider. 
This enabled us to sell it at double the ordinary 
price, and all was sold at once. As for that which we 



had reserved for ourselves, we treated it exactly 
as we would have done with our white wine at 
Le Bouilh. 

The crop of corn followed that of the apples. This 
crop was very abundant as it is the one which succeeds 
best in the United States where it is indigenous. As 
you must not leave the ear covered with the husk 
more than two days, we brought together all of our 
neighbors to finish the harvest quickly on the spot. 
This is what is called a "husking bee." We began by 
sweeping the floor of the barn with as much care as 
though we were going to give a ball. Then when night 
arrived, we lighted several candles and the people 
assembled, about thirty in all, black and white, and 
set themselves to work. One of the party did not 
cease to sing or to tell stories. Towards the middle 
of the night we served to each one a bowl of hot 
milk which we had previously mixed with cider. To 
this mixture you add five or six pounds of brown 
sugar, if you are prodigal, or an equal amount of 
molasses, if you are not, then spices, such as cloves, 
cinnamon and nutmeg. Our workers drank to our 
very best health the contents of an immense wash- 
boiler filled with this mixture, with which they ate 
toast. At five o'clock in the morning, when the 
weather was already quite chilly, they left us in good 
spirits. Our negroes were often invited to these 
gatherings, but my negress never went. When all of 
our crops had been harvested and garnered, we com- 
menced to work our land and to undertake the labors 
which precede the winter. Under a shed was piled up 
the wood which was to be sold. The sleds were re- 



paired and repainted. I bought a large piece of coarse 
blue and white checked flannel to make two shirts 
for each of my negroes. A tailor was employed by 
the day at the farm to make them coats and well- 
lined caps. This man ate with us because he was 
white. He would certainly have refused if we had 
asked him to eat with the slaves, although they were 
incomparably better dressed and had better manners 
than he. But I was very careful not to express the 
least remark upon this custom. My neighbors acted 
in this way, and I followed their example and in our 
reciprocal relations I was always careful not to make 
any allusion to the place which I had formerly occu- 
pied on the social ladder. I was the proprietor of a 
farm of 250 acres. I lived in the same manner as my 
neighbors, neither better nor worse. This simplicity 
and abnegation gave me more respect and considera- 
tion than as if I had wished to play the lady. 

I never lost a moment. Every day, winter and 
summer alike, I was up at dawn and my toilette did 
not take long. The negroes before going to their work 
assisted the negress to milk the cows, of which we 
had eight. During this time, I was busy with skim- 
ming the milk in the dairy. The days we made butter, 
two or three times a week, Minck remained to turn 
the handle of the churn, a task which was too difficult 
for a woman. All the rest of the making of the butter 
which was quite tiresome was my task. I had a re- 
markable collection of bowls, spoons, wooden spatu- 
las, which were the work of my good friends the 
Indians, and my dairy was considered the cleanest 
and also the most elegant in the country. 



This year the winter came very early. During the 
first days of November, the black curtain which an- 
nounced the snow commenced to rise in the west. 
As we would have wished, there followed eight days 
of bitter cold, and the river in twenty-four hours was 
frozen to the depth of three feet before the snow 
began to fall. When it began to snow, it fell with 
such violence that you could not see a man at the 
distance of ten paces. Prudent people took care not 
to hitch up their sleighs to mark out the routes. This 
work was left to those who were more in haste, or 
to those whose business compelled them to go to the 
city or to the river. Then before venturing upon the 
river, we waited until the passageways to descend 
upon the ice had been marked by pine branches. 
Without this precaution, it would have been very 
dangerous to venture on the ice, and every year 
there were accidents caused by imprudence. The tide 
before Albany and as far up as the junction of the 
Mohawk rises several feet and the ice often does not 
remain upon the water. 

Our winter passed like the preceding one. We fre- 
quently went to dine with the Schuylers and the 
Van Rensselaers, whose friendship never changed. 
Monsieur de Talleyrand, who was again living at 
Philadelphia, had been able to recover in a very 
singular manner certain articles which belonged to 
me : a medallion portrait of the Queen, a casket and 
a watch which had been left me by my mother. He 
knew from me that our banker at The Hague had 
advised me that he had placed these articles in the 
hands of a young American diplomat (I have for- 



gotten his name, fortunately for him) with the request 
that he should arrange to send them to me. But al- 
though Monsieur de Talleyrand had done his best, 
he had never been able to put his hand on this person. 
Finally one evening, when calling upon a lady of his 
acquaintance at Philadelphia, she had spoken to him 
of a portrait of the Queen which Monsieur - - had 
procured at Paris and which he had loaned her to 
show to some of hei friends. She wished to know 
from Monsieur de Talleyrand if the portrait was 
good. Hardly had he looked at it before he recognized 
that it belonged to me. He took possession of the 
medallion and informed the lady that it did not 
belong to the young diplomat. Then he went at once 
to find the latter and, without any preamble, de- 
manded from him the casket and the watch which 
the banker at The Hague had confided to him with 
the portrait. The young man was much embarrassed 
and ended by restoring all of these articles, which 
Monsieur de Talleyrand sent to us at the farm. 




News from France. Return Decided Upon. Regrets of Mme. 
de La Tour du Pin. The Slaves Receive Their Liberty. 
Departure for Europe. The Wait at New York. Arrival 
at Cadiz. The Quarantine. Visit of the Customs Of- 
ficers. Mode of Travel in Spain at This Epoch. A Bull 
Fight. Departure from Cadiz. The Inns. Cathedral 
of Cordova. In the Sierra Morena. At Madrid. 

TOWARDS the end of the winter of 1795 
1796, I had the measles and was quite ill. 
We were afraid that Humbert also would 
take them, but he did not, although he slept in my 
room. I soon found myself in good health, and it 
was at this moment that we received letters from 
Bonie in France which informed us that, joining his 
efforts to those of Monsieur de Brouquens, he had 
succeeded in having the sequestration raised at Le 

The property of the persons who had been con- 
demned had been restored. My mother-in-law in 
concert with her son-in-law, the Marquis de Lameth, 
acting in the name of his children, again entered into 
possession of the estates of Tesson and Ambleville 
and of the house at Saintes which the Department 
of the Charente-Inferieure had occupied. But when 
they repuested that the seals should be taken off at 



Le Bouilh, the authorities objected on account of 
the absence of the proprietor. Our family represented 
that the owner was living in America with a passport, 
and that neither my husband nor myself, who person- 
ally owned a house at Paris, had been inscribed upon 
the list of emigres. After numerous discussions they 
allowed us a delay of a year in which to put in a 
personal appearance, in default of which Le Bouilh 
would be placed on sale as national property. Our 
friends, therefore, urged us to return as soon as 
possible. Nevertheless, as the stability of the French 
Government inspired, even at this time, very little 
confidence, they recommended us at the same time 
not to take our passage for a French port, but rather 
to return by way of Spain, with which the Republic 
had just concluded a peace which seemed likely to be 

These dispatches fell in the midst of our tranquil 
occupations like a fire-brand which quickly lighted 
in the hearts of all around me the thought of a return 
to their native land. As for myself, I had an entirely 
different feeling. France had left in my mind only a 
recollection of horror. There I had lost my youth, 
which had been broken by terrors the remembrance 
of which I could not forget. I had not then, and I 
never have had since in my mind but two feelings 
which entirely and exclusively mastered me : the love 
of my husband and of my children. Religion, the only 
motive now for all my actions, commanded me not 
to oppose the least obstacle to a departure which 
frightened me and cost me dear. A sort of pre- 
sentiment caused me to foresee that I was going 



to encounter a new life of trouble and anxieties. 
My husband did not dream of the intensity of my 
regret when I saw the moment of our departure 
arrive. I imposed only one condition, that of giving 
our slaves their liberty. My husband consented and 
reserved for me alone this happiness. 

These poor people, on seeing the letters arrive from 
Europe, had feared some change in our life. They 
were disturbed and alarmed. Therefore, all four of 
them were trembling when they entered my room to 
which I had called them. They found me alone. I 
said to them with emotion: "My friends, we are 
going to return to Europe. What shall I do with you ? " 
The poor creatures were overcome. Judith dropped 
into a chair, in tears, while the three men covered 
their faces with their hands, and all remained silent. 
I continued: "We have been so satisfied with you 
that it is just that you should be recompensed. My 
husband has charged me to tell you that he will give 
you your liberty." On hearing this word our good 
servants were so stupified that they remained for 
several seconds without speech. Then all four threw 
themselves at my feet crying: "Is it possible? Do 
you mean that we are free?" I replied: "Yes, upon 
my honor, from this moment, as free as I am myself." 

Who can describe the poignant emotion of such a 
moment! Never in my life had I experienced any- 
thing so sweet. Those whom I had just promised 
their liberty surrounded me in tears. They kissed my 
hands, my feet, my dress, and then suddenly their 
joy ceased and they said: "We would prefer to 
remain slaves all our lives, if you would stay here." 



The following day my husband took them to Al- 
bany before a judge, for the ceremony of the manu- 
mission, an act which had to be public. All the negroes 
of the city were present. The Justice of the Peace, 
who was at the same time the steward of Mr. Van 
Rensselaer, was in very bad humor. He attempted to 
assert that Prime, being fifty years of age, could not 
under the terms of the law be given his liberty unless 
he was assured a pension of a hundred dollars. But 
Prime had foreseen this case, and he produced his 
certificate of baptism which attested that he was 
only forty-nine. They made the slaves kneel before 
my husband, and he placed his hand upon the head 
of each to sanction his liberation, exactly in the 
manner of ancient Rome. 

We let our dwelling, with the land which sur- 
rounded it, to the same individual from whom we had 
purchased it, and we sold the greater part of our 
equipment. The horses brought quite a high price. 
I distributed by way of souvenirs several little 
articles in porcelain which I had brought from Europe. 
As for my poor Judith, I left her some old silk dresses 
which have, without doubt, been handed down to her 

Towards the middle of April, 1796, we embarked 
from Albany to descend to New York, after having 
paid tender and thankful adieux to all those who for 
two years had overwhelmed us with tender thoughts, 
friendship and kindness of every kind. How many 
times, two years later, when enduring another exile, 
have I not regretted my farm and my good neighbors. 



At New York we stayed with Mr. and Mrs. Olive 
who received us in their pretty little country house. 
Here, we found Monsieur de Talleyrand, who had 
decided, like us, to return to Europe. Mme. de Stael 
was back at Paris, where she was living with Benjamin 
Constant. She urged him to return and enter the 
service of the Directory which demanded the aid of 
his ability. For a moment he had thought that he 
would take his passage upon the same vessel with 
us, but when he learned our intention to land at a 
Spanish port, whence we expected to gain Bordeaux, 
he changed his plans and resolved to take passage 
on a vessel bound for Hamburg. There was no ship 
leaving for Coruna or for Bilbao in the north of 
Spain, as we would have wished. Only one boat, a 
superb English vessel of four hundred tons, was 
going to Cadiz at an early date. For lack of anything 
better, and in spite of the long journey which we 
would have to make in Spain, we decided to engage 
our passage on this vessel. It sailed under the Spanish 
flag, although it as well as the cargo belonged to an 
Englishman. The proprietor, who was named Mr. 
Ensdel, was to go as a passenger. He was an old ship- 
owner who had been interested in whaling. He did 
not know a word of French. The captain who was 
originally from Jamaica also spoke only English, but 
he soon found a very intelligent interpreter in my 
son who although only six years of age was of great 
use to him. While occupying our time with our outfit 
and our arrangements for the voyage, we passed the 
three remaining weeks with Mrs. Olive, in company 
with Monsieur <Je Talleyrand. 



In the harbor there was a French sloop of war, 
commanded by Captain Barre, whose father my 
husband had known in the household of the old Due 
d'Orleans, the father of Philippe Egalite. Although a 
regular sea-dog, he was a very pleasant man. He 
came for us every day in his boat and conducted 
us to every part of the harbor, taking good care 
never to approach Sandy Hook where Captain, later 
Admiral, Cochrane had waited for two months to 
capture him if he attempted to come out. We visited 
his sloop, which was armed with fifteen guns. It was 
a jewel of order, neatness and care. How I should have 
loved to have returned to Europe in this fine boat. 

But the " Maria-Josepha " awaited us. We went 
on board, my husband, myself, our young son, 
Humbert, and Monsieur de Chambeau, the sixth of 
May, 1796, and the same day we set sail. There were 
several other passengers on board. Among them was 
Monsieur de Lavaur, an emigre, a former officer of 
the Constitutional Guard of Louis XVI, who had 
escaped from a thousand dangers at the time of the 
massacres of the tenth of August. As he was from 
Bordeaux, a kind of attachment was formed between 
him and my husband. Then there was a French 
merchant, Monsieur Tisserandot, and his wife. He 
had been unfortunate in business at New York and 
was going to make another attempt at Madrid. His 
wife was young, sweet, quite well brought up, but 
lazy. The persons whom I have just named, with 
Mr. Ensdel and the captain, made up the table in the 
large salon. 

I did not suffer from sea-sickness, and, the weather 


being superb, I was occupied all day long. As I soon 
finished the work which I had brought for my husband 
and myself, I then set up for a general seamstress 
and announced that any one could give me work to 
do. Every one brought me something. I had shirts to 
make, cravats to hem and linen to mark. The voyage 
lasted forty days, because the captain, against the 
advice of Mr. Ensdel, had taken a southerly course, 
and had been carried away by the currents. This 
time was sufficient for me to put the wardrobe of 
everybody on the boat in order. 

Finally about the tenth of June, we saw Cape 
Saint- Vincent and the next day we entered the 
harbor of Cadiz. The captain by his stupidity and 
ignorance had prolonged our voyage by at least 
fifteen days by allowing himself to be carried towards 
the coast of Africa, whence he had a great deal of 
trouble in returning to the north. He believed that 
he was so far from land that he had not even thought 
of sending a sailor as a look-out to the top of the 
mast. When he discovered, at daybreak, Cape 
Saint-Vincent, which is very high, he was entirely 

We were moored alongside a French vessel with 
three decks, the "Jupiter." It was there with a 
French fleet which had been prevented from going 
out by the English men-of-war, superior in number, 
which were cruising every day almost in sight of the 

We were visited at once by the boat of the health 
officer who notified us that we would be kept a week 



on board in quarantine. We preferred this to being 
sent to the lazarette where we would have been 
devoured by all the numerous insects which are so 
abundant in Spain. If we had been able to find a 
boat which was going to Bilbao or Barcelona, we 
should have taken passage. The voyage thus would 
have been shorter, less tiresome and less expensive. 

The name of Monsieur de Chambeau had not been 
erased from the list of emigres, and he was not able 
to return to France. He wished to go to Madrid 
where he knew several persons, but, nevertheless, he 
would have willingly accompanied us as far as Barce- 
lona, which would have brought him quite near to 
Auch, a city in which he owned some property. 

The uncertainty of our plans formed the subject of 
our conversation during the quarantine which lasted 
ten days and which might have been prolonged even 
more on account of the desertion of one of our sailors. 
This man, of French nationality, had been captured 
in a combat upon a sloop of war. He recognized a 
sailor on board the "Jupiter" which was moored 
alongside us and spoke to him through a megaphone. 
The same night he swam to the "Jupiter" and when 
the health officer proceeded to call the roll the follow- 
ing morning, no trace of him could be found, except 
his shirt and trousers. This was his whole wardrobe. 
This incident prolonged our quarantine until the 
day that it was ascertained that the fugitive was on 
the French vessel. 

The quarantine was nearly fatal to me. Every day 
sellers of fruit came alongside the boat, and I passed 
my time with Mme. Tisserandot in lowering a basket 



by means of a cord in order to obtain figs, oranges 
and strawberries. Eating this fruit made me very ill. 

Finally permission was received to give us our 
liberty. The captain put us on land, and never in 
my life have I been so much embarrassed as at this 
moment. On landing they ordered Mme. Tisserandot 
and myself to enter a little room looking out on the 
street, while they examined our effects with the most 
exaggerated minuteness. Our colored dresses and our 
straw hats soon attracted a large crowd of individuals 
of every age and of every condition: sailors and 
monks, porters and gentlemen all anxious to see 
what they doubtless considered to be two curious 
animals. As for our husbands, they had been de- 
tained in the room where our baggage was examined. 
We were therefore alone with my son. 

This indiscreet curiosity decided us, my companion 
and myself, immediately to dress like the Spanish 
women. Even before proceeding to the inn, we went 
to purchase black skirts and mantillas so as to be 
able to go out without scandalizing the whole popula- 
tion. We stopped at the hotel which was reputed to 
be the best at Cadiz, but which was so dirty as to 
cause me the greatest discomfort, accustomed as I 
was to the exquisite neatness of America, and I would 
willingly have returned on board our boat. 

I happened to remember that one of the sisters of 
poor Theobald Dillon, massacred at Lille in 1792, 
had married an English merchant established at 
Cadiz, by the name of Langton. Having written him 
a polite note, he came at once and was very attentive 
to us. At that time his wife with his younger daughter 



was at Madrid visiting a married daughter, the Ba- 
ronne d'Andilla. Nevertheless, Mr. Langton invited us 
to dinner and even wished to have us stay at his house. 
But we did not accept, as I was too ill to take the 
trouble to be polite. It was arranged that the dinner 
should be put off until the first day that I felt better. 

The day after our arrival my husband took our 
passport to be vised by the French Consul-General. 
He was a Monsieur de Roquesante, a former Comte 
or Marquis, now changed into a hot Republican, if 
not a Terrorist. He asked my husband a hundred 
questions and made a note of his replies. All this 
was very much like an examination. Then he suddenly 
exclaimed, "Citizen, we have received to-day excellent 
news from France. That rascal Charette has finally 
been taken and shot." "So much the worse," replied 
Monsieur de La Tour du Pin, "he was at least a 
worthy man." The Consul then kept silent and 
signed the passport, which he reminded my husband 
it would be necessary to present again to the French 
Ambassador at Madrid. Later we learned the manner 
in which he had recommended us at Bayonne. 

At this time Spain, having concluded peace with 
the French Republic, had disbanded the greater part 
of her army, probably without paying them. The 
roads were infested with brigands, especially the 
mountains of the Sierra Morena which we had to 
cross. We travelled in a convoy composed of several 
carriages only. We did not take any military escort, 
which would have probably been in league with the 
brigands, the former soldiers, but the mounted 
travellers who joined the convoy had taken the 


precaution to be armed to the teeth. A convoy was 
usually composed of from fifteen to eighteen covered 
chariots drawn by mules. 

It is thus that we set out from Cadiz. We occupied, 
my husband, my son and myself, one of these chariots, 
in which we were stretched out at full length upon 
our mattresses. Below, in the bottom of the chariot, 
was placed our baggage, covered with a bed of straw 
which filled the spaces between the trunks. A hood of 
cane artistically sewn and covered by a tarpaulin 
protected us from the sun during the day and from 
the humidity during the night, for it happened several 
times that we preferred the chariot to an inn. 

But in speaking so soon of our departure, I have 
anticipated, because we remained a week at Cadiz. 
Every evening we walked upon the beautiful prome- 
nade of L'Alameda, which looks out on the sea, 
where you can breathe a little air after having endured 
during the day a heat of 95 degrees. 

A spectacle which I have never forgotten was the 
magnificent bull-fight the day of Saint-Jean. This 
national fete of Spain has been described so often 
that I will not attempt to write of it here. The 
amphitheatre was immense and held at least four or 
five thousand persons who were seated upon the 
steps and were protected from the sun by a canvas 
awning similar to the velum of the Roman amphi- 
theatres. This awning was kept constantly wet by a 
spray like fine rain which did not go through the 
cloth. Thus, although the performance began after 
the mid-day mass and lasted until sunset, I do not 
recall having suffered a moment from the heat. 



They killed ten bulls, who were so beautiful and 
so well-bred that they would have made the fortune 
of an American farmer. The matador was the first 
of his kind at this epoch. He was a handsome young 
man of twenty-five years. In spite of the terrible 
danger which he ran, on account of his remarkable 
agility, you did not feel any anxiety. Certainly, at 
the moment when the two adversaries, alone face to 
face, looked steadily at each other, before the bull 
rushed upon the matador, the most poignant emotion 
which could possibly be felt gripped all of the spec- 
tators. You could have heard a pin drop. But you 
must understand that the matador does not give the 
coup d'epee. He only directs the point of the sword 
upon which the bull rushes to empale himself. This 
spectacle was an epoch in my life and no other has 
left upon me so powerful an impression. I have never 
forgotten the slightest detail and the recollection is 
as fresh in my memory after so many years, as if I 
had seen it yesterday. 

The day fixed for our departure we let the convoy 
set out and remained, my husband, my son and 
myself, to dine with Mr. Langton. A bark which had 
been prepared by his thoughtfulness was to take us 
to the other side of the bay to rejoin our caravan at 
Port-Sainte-Marie where we were to pass the night. 
During this long journey we did not travel faster 
than a man can walk on foot. 

I was feeling so ill that my husband hesitated to 
let me set out, and yet there was no means of draw- 
ing back. Our baggage had been sent forward. We 
had paid half of the cost of our trip as far as Madrid. 



Our passport had been vised and Monsieur de 
Roquesante, a Republican Consul, would have re- 
garded any delay with suspicion. He would have 
attributed it to some pretext, and as I have always 
believed that one can surmount any evil, except 
perhaps a broken leg, the thought never occurred 
to me to remain at Cadiz. We therefore dined with 
Mr. Langton, after having been present at the de- 
parture of our travelling companions who were to 
sleep at Port-Sainte-Marie. 

Nothing could be more delightful in point of neat- 
ness and care than this place of Mr. Langton, which 
was kept in the English fashion. He had adopted 
none of the Spanish practices except those customary 
to avoid the inconvenience of the very hot climate. 
The house was built around a square court filled 
with flowers. On the ground floor there was a line of 
arcades and an open gallery at the first floor. An 
awning stretched at the height of the roof covered 
the whole surface of the court. In the middle a jet 
of water reached the canvas, which being thus con- 
stantly wet communicated a delightful freshness to 
the whole house. I admit that I experienced a very 
painful feeling in thinking that instead of remaining 
in this agreeable place it was necessary for me to 
begin a long journey in a heat of 95 degrees. But the 
die was cast, and it was necessary to depart. After 
this farewell dinner, towards evening, we entered the 
bark, and in an hour and a half, the wind being favor- 
able, we arrived at Port-Sainte-Marie. There we found 
our caravan, composed of fourteen carriages and six 
or seven hidalgos, armed from head to foot. 



The aim of our second day's journey was Xeres, 
situated at a distance of only five leagues. As I had 
need of rest, we made up our minds once more to let 
the caravan go ahead and to rejoin it in the evening. 
We therefore took dinner at an early hour at Port- 
Sainte-Marie, a very pretty locality. Then we took 
a cabriolet similar to those which I see here at Pisa 
where I am writing these Recollections. Our vehicle 
was attached to a large mule which had no bridle, 
which seemed to me curious. Upon the head of the 
mule was balanced a high plume to which bells were 
attached. A young boy, with whip in hand, sprang 
lightly upon the shafts, uttered some cabalistic words, 
and the mule set out at a trot as rapid as a good 
hunting gallop. The route was superb and we went 
like the wind, the mule obeying docilely the voice of 
his little driver, avoiding obstacles, and winding 
through the streets of the villages which we traversed, 
with a wonderful sagacity. At first I was afraid, but 
reflecting that it was the custom of the country to 
drive this way, I became resigned. 

Arrived at Xeres, I was curious to know the value 
of a mule like the one which had conducted us and 
was told that it was worth from fifty to sixty louis, 
which seemed to me quite dear. 

The following day began our real travels. I was still 
indisposed, but, stretched out as I was upon a good 
mattress, and the road being very fine, I did not 
suffer more than I would have if I had remained 
quiet. At two o'clock we stopped for dinner in 
some wretched inn, and it happened two or three 
times that we preferred to pass the night in our 



chariot, rather than to sleep in beds so filthy as to 
be disgusting. 

It was night when we arrived at Cordova. As we 
were travelling a certain distance behind, all the 
other members of the party had already found their 
lodgings when we reached the inn. As there were only 
beds to be had at the inn, it was necessary to look 
for a place to eat. We finally succeeded, with some 
difficulty, on account of the advanced hour, in finding 
a kind of cabaret, where we could only obtain some 
bread and a few slices of fried bacon. 

The following morning there was a delay in the 
departure of the convoy, which gave me an oppor- 
tunity to see the magnificent Cathedral of Cordova 
<of which so many descriptions have been written. 
You can readily believe that travelling in so un- 
comfortable a manner and also feeling quite ill, in 
the heat which reigned in Andalusia from mid-day 
to three o'clock, the period of the day that we 
ordinarily stopped, I did not feel like visiting the 
monuments. This time we passed an hour in walking 
through the forest of columns of this cathedral. The 
muleteers came to urge us to set out. They were 
carrying sufficient provisions for two meals which we 
were to take in the open that day, as there was no 
dwelling in existence in the part of the country 
which we were going to traverse. 

On leaving Cordova, we rode for a whole hour in the 
midst of groves of lemon trees, and of Moorish olive 
trees, which were abundantly watered, before arriving 
at the wall of the ancient city of which vestiges are 
still being uncovered. This will give an idea of the 


immense surface which was covered by this large 
Moorish city of other days, as in Italy you obtain 
an idea in the same way of the limits of ancient Rome., 

We had our dinner, as had been arranged, near a 
well in the midst of a pasture covered with sheep. 
The eye could not measure the extent of this plain, 
which was several leagues long, and covered in part 
with fine grass, and in part with dwarf myrtle trees. 
Several pomegranates covered with blossoms arose 
around the well. This halt had something oriental 
about it which singularly pleased me. I preferred it 
very much to the stops of three hours in the dirty 
inns which were always so hot. 

The next day and the days following we crossed 
the Sierra Morena and saw the two pretty little 
cities of La Carlota and La Carolina. These had been 
built by German Colonists, and we observed that 
certain characteristics of the German physiognomy 
had not yet been entirely effaced. We encountered 
children with blond hair whose complexion, as dark 
as that of the Spaniards, was in marked contrast 
with their blue eyes. These little cities are pictur- 
esque, and are constructed with regularity on fine 
sites. This route which is very beautiful is bordered 
on all the hills by a parapet of marble. At the time 
this was the only road between the south of Spain 
and Castile. 

To my great regret we did not pass by Toledo. 
We arrived at Aranjuez for dinner the fifteenth day 
of our journey, I think. Here we remained for the 
rest of the day. We admired the fresh shade, the 
handsome weeping willows and the green prairies. 



After having come from Andalusia which was baked 
by the sun of July, it seemed to us like a green oasis 
in the midst of a desert. The River Tagus, although 
very small, is conducted with such art through this 
charming valley as to produce everywhere a delight- 
ful freshness. The Court was not then at Aranjuez; 
nevertheless, for some reason which I have for- 
gotten, we did not visit the Chateau. 

The following day we reached Madrid, after a 
halt of two hours at Puerta del Sol, while our baggage 
was being examined, ransacked and inspected. It 
would have been useless to show any impatience for 
the sang-froid of the Castilians is not put out by 
anything. Finally the signal for our departure was 
given and they took us to the hotel, a mediocre inn 
located in a small street. 

Here we were assigned quite a good room. My 
husband immediately dispatched the letters and 
packages with which Mr. Langton had charged us 
for his wife and his two daughters. Then I made a 
more careful toilette than that of my chariot, with 
the intention of going to see these ladies after our 
dinner. But they called on us first. A half-hour had 
hardly elapsed when we received a visit from two 
of the most beautiful ladies I have ever seen, Baronne 
d'Andilla and Mile. Carmen Langton. The mother 
who was ill had not been able to go out. Their 
brother-in-law, Monsieur Broun, accompanied them. 
His wife who was dead had been the third Mile. 
Langton, who was said to have been more beautiful 
even than her sisters. These ladies showed us great 
kindness and attention and their brother-in-law pro- 



posed that we should take a little furnished lodging 
in the quarter where these ladies lived. He took 
charge of all the necessary arrangements and placed 
himself at our disposal for all the time that we re- 
mained at Madrid. Our sojourn could not be shorter 
than a month or six weeks at least, because we were 
awaiting replies from Bordeaux to the letters which 
we had written from Cadiz. 

However, on account of the delicate state of my 
health, I wished to be at Le Bouilh before the tenth 
of November. My husband went the following day 
to see the ambassador of the Directory to have his 
passport put in order. As he still preserved a very 
vivid recollection of the reception of the citizen, the 
former Comte or Marquis, de Roquesante, he was 
very agreeably surprised by the kind reception of the 
ambassador. He was the General, later the Marechal, 
Perignon. Formerly under the command of my father, 
he had received from him assistance which advanced 
his career. Not having forgotten this, he was full of 
politeness for my husband. Nevertheless, his gratitude 
did not go so far as to honor me with his visit. The 
seigneurs of other days were not yet in fashion, as 
they became later on. 

We remained six weeks at Madrid, during which 
time we were overwhelmed with the thoughtfulness, 
the attentions and the kindness of the Langton and 
Andilla families. The son-in-law of Mme. Langton, 
Monsieur Broun, whose wife had died the preceding 
year, conducted us to all the most interesting parts 
of the city, and every evening Mme. d'Andilla took 
us to the Corso, then to take an ice in a fashionable 



cafe at the end of the Rue d'Alcala. Monsieur Broun 
showed us the portrait of his wife. She had been as 
beautiful as, if not more beautiful than, her sisters, 
and he could not be consoled for her loss, at the age 
of twenty-two years. 




Departure from Madrid. The Escurial. Arrival on Saint- 
Sebastien. Bonie Rejoins Us. Apprehensions on Re- 
turning to France. Arrival at Bayonne. Monsieur de 
Brouquens Again. Arrival at Le Bouilh. Devastation 
of the Chateau. The Library Saved. Return of Mar- 
guerite. Birth of Charlotte. Absence of Monsieur de 
La Tour du Pin. Fortune Compromised. Dispersion of 
the Family Souvenirs. Trip to Paris. Devastation of 
the Chateau of Tesson. Talleyrand Minister of Foreign 
Affairs. Jealousy of Tallien. 

FINALLY we received a letter from Bonie 
stating the day that he would await us at 
Bayonne, and this time we engaged a little 
collier as to transport ourselves and our baggage. 
Monsieur de Lavaur, who had received word that 
his name had been erased from the list of emigres, 
proposed to accompany us, and we consented, al- 
though this was not at all agreeable to us. Monsieur 
de Chambeau was obliged to remain at Madrid. 
The tender friendship which he bore us, and of which 
he had given us many proofs, rendered this separa- 
tion very painful for him and for us. For a period of 
three years, he had shared all of our vicissitudes, our 
interests and our troubles. My husband considered 
him as a brother. During the long years of exile, 


our thoughts had been the same. Thus our departure 
was a sad blow to our poor friend. He had no money, 
as no one had thought to send him any. We were 
happy to be in a position to leave him fifty louis, 
and he was fortunate enough to be welcomed in the 
house of the Comtesse de Gaivez, where he remained 
until 1800. 

We left Madrid at two o'clock in the afternoon 
to spend the night at the Escurial. The collier as 
was a fine old berline, drawn by seven mules, which 
were conducted, or rather counseled and exhorted, 
by a coachman seated upon the box and by an 
assistant-postillion armed with a long whip. The 
latter sprang alternately from one to the other of 
the mules, who had no bridles and obeyed only his 
voice. However, I think that the mules at the pole 
had reins, but the five others certainly not. One of 
them, the seventh, marched alone in front. She was 
named the "Generala" and guided all the others. 

At a quarter of a league from Madrid, the coach- 
man perceived that he had forgotten his mantle. In 
spite of the stifling heat, he was not willing to go 
another step before the postillion had gone back to 
look for it mounted on one of the mules. This de- 
layed us much, and we reached the Escurial only 
late in the evening. 

Nearly all of the following day was consecrated 
to a visit to this admirable monastery, of which so 
many descriptions have been written. Among all 
those which I have read since, none has seemed to 
me perfectly exact. They do not picture the kind of 
sad religious calm with which this place, this chef- 



d'ceuvre of all the arts, in the midst of a desert, 
imbues the soul. So many marvellous things seem to 
have been brought together in this solitude, only to 
recall to the mind the futility and the inutility of the 
works of man. Since then, when the events which 
have distracted Spain have been unrolled before me, 
I have been struck by the prophecy of the father 
who showed us the subterranean chapel in which 
are buried the Kings of Spain since Philip II. After 
having walked through the midst of these tombs, all 
of which are similar, he called our attention to one 
which remained empty: that destined for the reign- 
ing King, Charles IV, and at the same time placing 
his hand on the sarcophagus, which was kept open 
by a wedge of marble, he said to us in Italian: "Who 
knows whether he will ever occupy it?" At the 
moment, this remark did not arrest my attention, 
but long afterwards, when I saw this unfortunate 
Prince chased from his throne, this prophetic speech 
returned to my mind. 

Since the discovery of America and of the gold and 
silver mines of Peru, the Kings of Spain have made 
every year, to the Church of the Escurial, a mag- 
nificent present of these two metals. It thus happens 
that the Treasury of the Church has become the 
richest in all Europe. All of the articles provided by 
this luxurious custom, arranged in order by years, 
testified, to an observing eye, to the successive de- 
terioration in taste, from the first signed by Ben- 
venuto Cellini, to the last of very recent date. 

The top of the high altar, a bas-relief in solid 
silver, representing the apotheosis of Saint Laurent, 



Patron of the Escurial, although of an unequalled 
magnificence, was not satisfactory as a work of art. 
I say "was" not, for there is reason to suppose that 
the misfortunes of Spain have led to the destruction 
of all these masterpieces. The different objects used 
for the religious worship were arranged in armoires 
a glace s made of the finest wood of the East Indies. 
I have preserved a clear recollection of a sacred 
ciborium (ciboire), in the form of a map of the world 
surmounted by a cross, the middle of which was 
ornamented by an enormous diamond and the arms 
with four large pearls. There were also monstrances 
(ostensoirs) entirely covered with precious stones. 
They showed us the ornament du jour de Paques, 
made of red velvet embroidered entirely with fine 
pearls of different sizes, according to the design. 
Many persons would not perhaps have appreciated 
this magnificence, for the smallest piece of stuff em- 
bossed with silver produced more effect. Neverthe- 
less, there were many million pearls upon these plain 
pieces of velvet. 

We ascended to the rood-loft (jube), where we saw 
some admirable books of the Church, formed of 
leaves of vellum, the margins of which were painted 
by the pupils of Raphael from his designs. These 
volumes in grand in-folio, ornamented with corners 
of silver, bound in a brown skin showing the reverse 
side, were placed in a kind of open case separated 
from one another by slender pieces of wood. On 
account of their weight, it would have been difficult 
to take them out of their case. To obviate this in- 
convenience, there was arranged at the bottom of 



each of these cases little ivory wheels traversed by 
iron pins around which they turned. In this manner, 
the slightest effort was enough to draw one of these 
books to you. I have never seen this method em- 
ployed in any other library. 

In this high gallery of the Escurial we found the 
magnificent Christ in silver, of life size, made by 
Benvenuto Cellini. After having visited and admired 
this magnificent Church, I was left alone while my 
husband and Monsieur de Lavaur went to visit the 
Monastery and the Library where they saw the 
beautiful picture of Raphael named La Vierge a la 
Perle. I had not been informed at Madrid that a 
woman was not able to visit the Library, which was 
situated in the interior of the Monastery, without a 
special permit. I regretted this greatly. 

During the long time that I awaited my travelling 
companions, I had time for my mind to become lost 
in many meditations. I thought of the beauty of 
this edifice, then of the battle of Saint-Quentin, lost 
by the French, on the tenth of August, 1557, the 
fete day of Saint Laurent, in commemoration of 
which the Escurial was built by Philip II, the savage 
father of Don Carlos. So when my husband returned 
and tapped me on the shoulder, saying, "Let us go 
to see the house of the Prince," I was almost vexed 
to have my thoughts disturbed. My son, being only a 
boy, had accompanied his father and was very proud 
to be able to relate to me what he had seen. 

We then proceeded to this house of the Prince, 
erected by Charles IV while he was Prince of the 
Asturias and where he retired when the Court was 


at the Escurial, to escape from the rigorous Spanish 
etiquette. It resembled a very elegant little house, 
which a modest broker would hardly be contented 
with in our day. Pretty furniture, little tables, orna- 
ments of doubtful taste, a quantity of draperies of 
the most shabby effect, gave it the appearance of a 
petit logis de file. What a contrast with the admirable 
Church which we had just left! It gave me a very 
disagreeable impression. 

Having returned to the inn, we at once set out to 
go to pass the night at La Granja, where the Court 
was in residence at the Royal Chateau. Here we were 
to find dispatches from the American Minister, Mr. 
Rutledge, for his Consul at Bayonne. He invited us 
to supper, and the following day we set out for 
Segovie, a very picturesque little city with a chateau, 
of which we saw only the court surrounded by arcades 
in the Moorish style. The remainder of our journey 
was very uneventful. We remained a day at Vittoria 
to care for the "Generala," without whom we could 
not proceed. Then a day at Burgos, where I went to 
see the Cathedral, and finally we arrived at Saint- 
Sebastien, where Bonie awaited us. 

I felt no pleasure in returning to France. On the 
contrary, the. sufferings which I had endured during 
the last six months of my sojourn had left in my 
mind a sentiment of terror and horror which I could 
not overcome. I thought that my husband was com- 
ing back with his fortune lost, and that difficult 
affairs would occupy him disagreeably and that we 
were condemned to live in a large devastated chateau, 
for everything had been sold at Le Bouilh. My 


mother-in-law was still living. She had again entered 
into possession of Tesson and Ambleville. Without 
any intelligence, very suspicious, very obstinate, in 
business she had confidence in no one. How much I 
regretted my farm, my tranquillity! It was with a 
very heavy heart that I crossed the bridge of the 
Bidassoa and realized that I was upon the territory 
of the Republic "one and indivisible." 

We arrived at Bayonne in the evening. Hardly 
had we entered the inn when two members of the 
National Guard came to look for Monsieur de La 
Tour du Pin to take him before the authorities, 
represented then, it seems to me, by the President 
of the Department. This debut caused me great 
terror. Accompanied by Bonie, he was conducted 
before the assembled members of the Tribunal. He 
was questioned as to his opinions, his plans, his 
actions, the causes and the reasons of his absence 
and those of his return. He at once perceived that 
he had been denounced by Monsieur de Roquesante 
and declared so frankly, while stating at the same 
time, how much, on the other hand, he had to praise 
in the attitude of the Ambassador at Madrid. After 
a discussion which lasted at least two hours, my 
husband returned. They had authorized him to 
continue his route as far as Bordeaux, but armed 
with a kind of official itinerary in which the stops 
were indicated and with the injunction to have this 
paper vised at each place. 

Bonie left us and returned to Bordeaux by the 
mail-coach. We engaged a wretched driver, who 
conducted us by short journeys. One event only 



marked our trip. At Mont-de-Marsan where I called 
a perruquier to dress my hair, he proposed to me, to 
my great surprise, to purchase my hair for 200 francs. 
He said that blond wigs were so much the fashion 
at Paris that he would certainly make a profit of 
at least 100 francs, if I would consent to sell him my 
hair. I refused this proposition, you may well believe, 
but I conceived a great respect for my hair, which 
was, modesty apart, very handsome and very fine 
at that time. 

At Bordeaux we found again the excellent Brou- 
quens. He had prospered during the war against 
Spain and was now engaged in providing provisions 
for our armies in Italy. He received us with the 
tender friendship which had never for a moment 
changed. But I was impatient to be at home, and I 
made arrangements at once with my good Doctor 
Dupouy who was to take care of me. Then, the 
affair of raising the sequestration terminated, we 
went to Le Bouilh to have the seals removed. 

The first moment, I admit, sorely tried my phi- 
losophy. I had left the house very well furnished, 
and if nothing very elegant was to be found there, 
at least everything was convenient and in sufficient 
quantity. I found it absolutely vacant. Not a chair 
to sit down on, not a table, not a bed. I was on the 
point of giving way to discouragement, but to com- 
plain would have been useless. At the farm we set 
about unpacking our boxes which had long since 
arrived at Bordeaux, and the sight of these simple 
little pieces of furniture, transported to this vast 
chateau, gave rise to many philosophical reflections. 



The next day many of the inhabitants of Saint- 
Andre, ashamed of having purchased our furniture 
at auction, came to propose to us to re-sell it for the 
price which it had cost them. Under these reasonable 
conditions, we again came into possession of those 
articles which we needed most. One of the things 
which had the most value was the equipment of our 
kitchen, which was very fine. It had been transported 
to a district of Bourg with the intention of sending 
it to the mint. This was re-sold to us, as well as the 
library which had also been deposited in the district. 
We passed several days very agreeably in placing 
the books on the shelves, and before the arrival of 
Doctor Dupouy all of our interior arrangements 
had been finished, and we were as well installed as 
if we had been at Le Bouilh for a year. 

At this moment I experienced a great pleasure; 
this was the arrival of my dear maid Marguerite. 
Mme. de Valence, when she was released from prison 
at Paris, had engaged her to take care of her two 
daughters, but as soon as this excellent maid heard 
of my return, nothing could prevent her from coming 
to rejoin me. In spite of the aristocracy of her white 
apron, she had escaped from all the dangers of the 
Terror. She arrived at Le Bouilh in time to be present 
at the birth of my dear daughter Charlotte, who was 
born the fourth of November, 1796. I gave her the 
name of Charlotte, because she was the god-daughter 
of Monsieur de Chambeau. Nevertheless, upon the 
Registry of the Commune, she was inscribed under 
the name of Alix, which consequently was the only 
name she was able to use legally. 



When I was up again, in the month of December, 
my husband started to make a circular trip to Tesson, 
Amble ville and La Roche-Chalais, where there re- 
mained to us only some old ruined towers, from the 
20,000 francs of quit-rent and rents which this land 
was worth. I remained alone in the large Chateau 
of Le Bouilh with Marguerite, two servants, and old 
Biquet who got drunk every night. The peasants in 
the farm-yard were far away. Only some wretched 
planks closed the part of the ground floor which 
was not yet finished. This was the time when troops 
of brigands, called chauffeurs, spread terror in all 
the southern part of France. Every day new horrors 
were recounted regarding them. I admit to my shame 
that I was cold with terror. It seems to me that I 
never in my life passed a time more painful. How 
much I regretted my farm, my good negroes and my 
tranquillity of other days ! 

Our affairs, which were far from taking a favorable 
turn, also constantly preoccupied me. My husband 
had been advised not to accept the inheritance of 
his father except sous benefice cT invent air e, that is to 
say, in reserving the right to verify the charges or 
costs. Would to God that he had done so! But the 
sad manner in which we had lost my father-in-law 
and the profound respect which my husband had for 
his memory deterred him from adopting this course. 
This inheritance comprised the estate of Le Bouilh, 
several pieces of property in La Roche-Chalais, and 
our rights to the fortune of my mother-in-law which 
had formed a part of our marriage contract. I will 
not enter into the details of our ruin, the recollection 



of which escapes me now and which besides I have 
never clearly understood. I only know that at the 
time of our marriage, my father-in-law was supposed 
to have an income of 80,000 francs. Without going 
into further details, it may be said that our loss in all 
amounted to nearly 60,000 francs of income. To this 
can be added the house at Saintes, a fine dwelling 
in a perfect state of repair, and which could have 
been rented for 3,000 francs. The authorities of the 
Department had occupied it and when at the end of 
several years it was returned to us, it was in such a 
state of dilapidation that it had lost its entire value. 
We also lost the furniture of the Chateau of Tesson 
which Monsieur de Monconseil had left to my father- 
in-law. This furniture was sold at the same time as 
that of Le Bouilh, that is to say during the months 
which elapsed between the epoch of the condemna- 
tion, followed by the execution of my father-in-law, 
and the date of the decree which restored the property 
of the persons condemned to their children. It can be 
said that it was during this period of several months 
that nearly all the furniture of the chateaux of France 
had been sold. It is necessary, however, to except 
the libraries which, after having been transported to 
the chief places of the district, were subsequently 
restored to their owners. These sales struck the most 
disastrous blow to family souvenirs, and it is in- 
contestable that the sudden dispersion of all these 
souvenirs of the paternal roof contributed strongly 
to the demoralization of the young noblesse. 

We remained at Le Bouilh the whole winter and a 
part of the spring. About the month of July, 1797, 



my husband recognized the necessity of going to 
Paris to terminate his arrangements with Monsieur 
de Lameth. As if inspired by presentiment, I re- 
quested to accompany him. Mme. de Montesson, 
who was still full of kindness for me, arranged with 
Mme. de Valence that I should live in her house at 
Paris. She herself was established for the summer in 
the country in a house which she had just purchased 
near Saint-Denis. The six weeks which we expected 
to pass at Paris before returning to Le Bouilh for the 
harvest of the grapes did not require any great 
quantity of baggage. We therefore transported only 
what was strictly necessary for us and our children. 
A large number of emigres had returned under 
borrowed names. Mme. d'Henin, who had come back 
under the name of a milliner of Geneva, Mile. 
Vauthier, was situated with Mme. de Poix at Saint- 
Ouen. Mme. de Stae'l, protected by Barras, the 
Director, and many others were at Paris. 

Monsieur de Talleyrand had summoned us to come 
to Paris and had particularly urged my husband to 
come there. People had commenced to speak of a 
counter-Revolution, in which everybody believed. 
The Government had been formed, and two As- 
semblies, the Council of the Five Hundred and that 
of the Ancients, comprised many Royalists. The 
salon of Barras, the influential Director, of which 
the Duchesse de Brancas did the honors, was full of 
them, and although the other Directors did not seem 
disposed to follow the example of their colleague, it is 
certain that never had the Bourbon cause had so 
much chance of success as at this epoch. 



We set out in a sort of little carriage, my husband, 
myself, my maid Marguerite and our two children: 
Humbert, seven and a half years of age and Charlotte 
who was only eight months old. 

We passed several days at Tesson, where we found 
the Chateau in a terrible state of dilapidation. They 
had not only carried off the furniture but had de- 
stroyed the papers, taken away the locks of many of 
the doors, the blinds of several windows, the irons 
of the kitchen and the bars of the furnaces. It was a 
regular devastation. Fortunately Gregoire had piled 
upon his bed and those of his wife and daughter as 
many mattresses as he had been able to save, and 
these served as beds for us during our sojourn at 

My emotion was vivid in finding again this good 
family of Gregoire who had concealed my husband 
with so much care and devotion. Before this, in 
passing by Mirambeau, I had seen the locksmith, 
Potier, and his wife, with whom my husband had 
remained three months, shut up in a hole where 
there was not enough light to read by. How I again 
rendered thanks to God that He had permitted him 
to escape from all the frightful times of the Terror ! 

We finally arrived at the end of our journey. Mme. 
de Valence received me with pleasure, and Mme. de 
Montesson, who was not yet in the country, greeted 
me with a thousand acts of kindness. At Paris any 
little thing out of the ordinary always attracts at- 
tention. Accordingly, I made a hit, immediately on 
our arrival. As my husband and I were taking supper 
in the room of Mme. de Valence, Monsieur de Talley- 



rand was announced. He was very glad to see us, 
and at the end of a moment he said : 

" Eh bien ! Gouvernet, qu'est-ce que vous comptez 

"Moi?" replied Monsieur de La Tour du Pin with 
surprise, "mais je viens pour arranger mes affaires." 

"Ah!" said Monsieur de Talleyrand, "je croyais 

Then he changed the conversation and spoke of 
indifferent matters. Several moments later, addressing 
Mme. de Valence, he began to say with that air of 
nonchalance which it is necessary to have seen to 
understand : 

" A propos, vous savez que le ministere est change; 
les nouveaux ministres sont nommes." 

"Ah," said she, "et quels sont-ils?" 

Then after a moment of hesitation, as if he had 
forgotten the names and was trying to recall them, 
he said: 

"Ah! oui, voici: un tel a la guerre, un tel a la 
marine, un tel aux finances ..." 

"Et aux affaires etrangeres," said I. ... 

"Ah! aux affaires etrangeres? Eh! mais . . . moi, 
sans doute!" 

Then taking his hat, he went away. 

We looked at each other, my husband and myself, 
without surprise, for nothing could be surprising in 
the case of Monsieur de Talleyrand except an act 
on his part of bad taste. He remained eminently the 
grand seigneur, while serving a government composed 
of the refuse of the rabble. The next day found him 
established at the office of Foreign Affairs as if he 



had occupied this post for the past ten years. The 
intervention of Mme. de Stae'l, all powerful at this 
moment with Benjamin Constant, had made him 
Minister. He had gone to her house and throwing 
upon the table his purse which contained only a few 
louis had said: "Voila le reste de ma fortune! Demain 
ministre ou je me brule la cervelle!" None of these 
words were true, but it was dramatic, and Mme. de 
Stae'l loved that. Besides, the nomination was not 
difficult to arrange. The Directors, and above all, 
Barras, were very much honored to have such a 

I will not relate here the history of the 18 Fructidor. 
You can read it in all the memoirs of the time. The 
Royalists had a great deal of hope and the different 
intrigues were mixed up in every sense of the word. 
Many of the emigres had returned. They wore the 
rallying signs, all of which were perfectly known to 
the police: the collar of the coat of black velvet, a 
knot, in I know not what form, in the corner of the 
handkerchief and so on. It was by absurdities of this 
kind that they thought to save France. Mme. de 
Montesson returned from the country expressly to 
give a dinner to the Deputies who were well disposed. 
Monsieur de Brouquens, our excellent friend, was 
also one of the hosts of these dinners where they 
talked with an unbelievable imprudence. We met 
again every day, my husband and I, some people of 
our acquaintance, and the originality of the life 
which I had led in America and the desire which I 
evinced of returning there rendered me for a month 
very much in vogue. 



Mme. d'Henin, our aunt, had returned as I have 
already said under a borrowed name with a Geneva 
passport. She was living with Mme. de Poix, who 
herself was installed for the duration of the summer 
in a house which she had borrowed at Saint-Ouen. 
We went there to pass several days to the great 
pleasure of Humbert who was very much bored at 
Paris where he was not able to go out. 

I also saw Mme. de Stael nearly every day. In 
spite of her liaison more than intimate with Benjamin 
Constant, she was working for the Royalist Party. 

You may well believe that my first care on arriving 
at Paris was to go to see Mme. Tallien to whom we 
owed our life. I found her established in a little 
house called "La Chaumiere" at the end of the 
Cours la Reine. She received me with much affection 
and wished immediately to explain how it happened 
that she had found herself under the necessity of 
marrying Tallien, by whom she had a child. Her 
family life with this new husband already seemed in- 
supportable. Nothing could equal, it seemed, his dis- 
trustful and suspicious character. She related to me 
that one night, when she returned at one o'clock 
in the morning, he had such an attack of jealousy 
that he had been upon the point of killing her. 
Seeing him armed with a pistol, she had taken flight 
and had gone to demand asylum and protection from 
Monsieur Martell, whose life she had saved at 
Bordeaux, but he had refused to receive her. She 
wept bitterly in recounting to me this act of in- 
gratitude. Therefore my gratitude which I expressed 



with warmth, as indeed I felt it, seemed very sweet 
to her. Tallien came for a moment to his wife's 
room. I thanked him quite coldly, and he told me to 
count on him under all circumstances. You will see 
later on in what way and in what manner he kept 
his word. 




The 1 8 Fructidor. A Promenade in Paris. Mme. de Stael 
and Benjamin Constant. Expulsion of the Returned 
Emigres. Situation of Monsieur and Mme. de La Tour 
du Pin. Conduct of Talleyrand and Tallien. New 
Exile. A Friend from America. Cordial Reception by 
Lady Jerningham. Visit of Mme. Dillon. Mme. de 
Rothe and the Archbishop of Narbonne. Lord Dillon. 
His Apostasy and Marriage with an Actress. Lord Ken- 
mare and His Daughter. Dominating Character of Mme. 
d'Henin. Society of the Emigres. Departure for Cossey. 
The Races at Newmarket. Kindness of Lady Jerning- 
ham. Life at Cossey. The Family Table. Residence 
at Richmond with Mme. d'Henin. An Inheritance Dif- 
ficult to Realize. Money Troubles of Mme. de La Tour 
du Pin. 

MY husband was busy with his affairs and 
had undertaken negotiations to repurchase 
a part of the estate of Hautefontaine 
which had been sold, when one morning at daybreak, 
the 1 8 Fructidor, the fourth of September, 1797, I 
thought I heard upon the boulevard a noise of 
artillery carriages. As my room looked out on the 
court, I told Marguerite to go to the window of the 
salle a manger to see what was going on. On her 
return she told me that the boulevard was filled with 
a number of generals, with troops and cannon. I 
arose as soon as possible and sent to awaken my 

[ 273 ] 


husband who was sleeping in the room above mine. 
We both went to the window, where a short 
time later we were joined by Mme. de Valence. 
Augereau was there giving orders. The Rue des 
Capucines and the Rue Neuve-du-Luxembourg were 

Towards mid-day, as nobody had brought us any 
news, Mme. de Valence and I, inspired by curiosity, 
went out, quietly dressed in order not to be remarked, 
with the intention of going to see Mme. de Stael. 
As the streets above mentioned were barricaded by 
pieces of cannon, and the Rue de la Paix was not 
in existence at that period, we were obliged to ascend 
as far as the Rue de Richelieu to find a free passage. 
All the shops were closed. There were a good many 
people out but no one was talking. Finally we arrived 
at the residence of Mme. de Stael. She was with 
Benjamin Constant and very much incensed with 
him because he maintained that the Directory in 
arresting the Deputies had only performed an 
indispensable coup d'etat. 

From M. Constant we learned that all of the 
emigres who had returned had received an order once 
more to leave France under pain of being judged 
by military commissions. This news filled me with 
consternation, and I hastened to return home to 
inform my husband. On arriving I found my husband 
very much perplexed as to the means of notifying 
my aunt of these events. She was living at Saint- 
Ouen and the gates of Paris were closed. No one 
was able to pass the barriers without a special 


By a singular piece of good fortune, I met Mme. 
de Pontecoulant, whom I knew, as I had often seen 
her with Mme. de Valence. I will tell later on who 
she was. As she had a permit of the Section for 
herself and her maid, she was able to go to Saint- 
Denis, where her country house was located. I 
begged her to let me take the place of the maid and 
with her usual kindness she consented. 

You can easily imagine with what exclamations I 
was received by Mme. de Poix and my aunt. The 
latter decided to leave at once for England. With 
these ladies were several former emigres, who were in 
despair over the necessity of once more leaving 

By the terms of the decree, all the emigres who 
had returned upon French territory were ordered to 
leave Paris within twenty-four hours and France 
within a week. My idea was to return at once to 
Le Bouilh. Having left France with a proper pass- 
port and having returned with this same passport 
duly vised by the French authorities in the United 
States and in Spain, I thought that the decree could 
not apply to us as we had not returned secretly. To 
assure himself on this point my husband went to 
find Monsieur de Talleyrand. The latter, very much 
occupied with his own future, was not giving much 
thought to that of others. He at once replied without 
hesitation that it was not his affair and told us to 
submit the case to Sottin, the Minister of Police. 

I accordingly went to see Tallien who received me 
very cordially. He promised to go at once to see 
Sottin, to have him annotate the paper without 



which we could not have vised the passport of the 
municipality of Saint-Andre-de-Cubzac, with which 
we had come to Paris and which we must have in 
our possession in order to pass the barriers. 

I came home quite disturbed and commenced to 
pack my trunks. A police decree had just been 
posted ordering all proprietors to send in a report as 
to the persons living in their houses who were at 
Paris without papers in regular order. We were un- 
willing to cause any trouble to Mme. de Montesson 
with whom we were lodging. 

Finally after a trying delay of several hours Tallien 
sent me back the request which he had submitted to 
the inspection of Sottin. The Minister had added with 
his own hand and signed the following annotation: 
"This private individual is within the law." Tallien, 
in the note which he wrote me at the same time in the 
third person excused himself politely for not having 
been able to obtain anything, but the end of his 
note could be translated by the words: "I wish you 
a bon voyage." 

There were two alternatives from which to choose. 
We could ask for a passport for Spain and proceed 
to Le Bouilh, where I could remain some time while 
my husband went to Saint-Sebastien. This would 
have been the wisest course. We could also go to 
England and from there, according to circumstances, 
return to America. My aunt, Mme. d'Henin, had 
much influence with my husband and she induced 
him to adopt the latter course. We had very little 
money, but were assured of finding at London my 



step-mother, Mme. Dillon, and many other very 
close relations, who without doubt would be disposed 
to come to our aid. We therefore decided to leave 
for England. 

Having come to Paris with the intention of re- 
maining only five or six weeks, we had brought with 
us only the most necessary baggage. I had in addi- 
tion several dresses which I had had made at Paris. 
Two very small trunks contained all of our baggage, 
including that of my maid, Marguerite, who had 
decided this time not to leave us. This departure 
was destined to have the most unfortunate conse- 
quences for us. We were in negotiations with the new 
owners of Hautefontaine to repurchase the property, 
but this new emigration put an end to all of our 

The two or three days which preceded our de- 
parture were passed in a state of sadness and dis- 
quietude. Perhaps it would have been better for us 
to have returned to Le Bouilh. The report was 
current that Barras, who had yielded for the moment 
to the demands of his colleagues, would soon regain 
his authority and at the same time resume his 
favorable disposition regarding the emigres. 

Everywhere you met people who were in despair 
over this new emigration. We reserved three places 
in a carriage which was to take us in three days to 
Calais. Two other places were occupied by Monsieur 
de Beauvau and by a cousin of Mme. de Valence, 
the young Cesar Ducrest, an amiable young man who 
was destined to perish so miserably several years later. 

The French are naturally light-hearted. So in spite 


of the fact that we were all in despair, ruined, furious, 
we found, nevertheless, the means of being in good 
humor and of laughing. Monsieur de Beauvau, our 
cousin, was going to rejoin his wife, who had been a 
Mile, de Mortemart, and his three or four children. 
She was living in a country house at Staines, near 
Windsor, with her grandfather, the Due d'Harcourt, 
formerly Governor of the first Dauphin who died at 
Meudon in 1789. Mme. de Beauvau was the youngest 
of the three grand-daughters of the Due d'Harcourt. 
Their mother had married the Due de Mortemart 
and had died long before the Revolution. Monsieur 
de Mortemart had then married a Mile, de Brissac, 
the mother of the present Due. 

We appeared before all the municipalities in the 
localities situated on the route, including those of 
Calais, where we embarked on the packet one evening 
at eleven o'clock. 

I was seated upon the deck holding my daughter 
in my arms while Marguerite was occupied in putting 
my son to bed, and my husband was suffering as 
usual from sea-sickness, although there was little 
wind and the night was superb. Beside me was a 
gentleman who, seeing me embarrassed with my 
child, proposed to me, with an English accent, that 
I should lean against him. As I turned to thank him, 
he saw my face in the moonlight and cried: "Bon 
Dieu, est-ce possible!" It was young Jeffreys, son of 
the editor of the "Edinburgh Review." I had seen 
him every day at Boston at his uncle's at the time 
of our sojourn in that hospitable city three years 
before. We talked much of America and of the regret 



which I had felt in leaving it. I gave him to under- 
stand that in spite of the presence of all my family 
in England, I was going there inspired only by the 
desire and the plan of returning to my farm, if all 
hope of a return to France vanished or at least 
became indefinite. 

The night passed in talking of England with my 
companion, and the first rays of the sun revealed to 
us the white cliffs of England to which a strong 
southeast wind had brought us near. We landed to 
find ourselves handed over to the brutality of the 
English Customs officers who seemed to me worse 
even than those of Spain. At the sight of my passport 
which I presented at the alien office, I was asked if 
I was a subject of the King of England, and upon my 
affirmative reply, they told me that I should give 
as reference some person who was known in England. 
Having named without hesitation my three uncles, 
Lord Dillon, Lord Kenmare and Sir William Jerning- 
ham, the tone and manner of these employes changed 
very quickly. These details took up the morning. 
After an English luncheon, or rather dinner, we left 
Dover for London. We spent the night at Canter- 
bury, or at Rochester, my recollections are not very 
precise as to the locality, and the following morning 
we arrived at London and went to one of the inns 
in Piccadilly. As I had written my aunt, Lady Jerning- 
ham, from Dover to announce our arrival, she had 
sent her son Edward to bring us to her house in 
Bolton Row. Her reception was entirely maternal. 
She immediately informed us of her departure for 
her country place at Cossey, where she said she ex- 



pected to stay at least six months. She invited us to 
come and pass this time with her. My good aunt 
was particularly amiable towards my husband, and, 
being very fond of children, she conceived at once 
a great affection for Humbert. 

We therefore took up our residence in Bolton Row 
like children of the family. Here I found again my 
excellent old friend, the Chevalier Jerningham, 
brother of Sir William, the husband of my aunt. 
The faithful friendship which he had shown me since 
my childhood was as sweet as it was useful during 
my sojourn in England. 

I was arranging to go to see my step-mother, Mme. 
Dillon, who had been living in England for two years, 
when she came to see my aunt. 

My arrival in London was an event in the family. 
Here I met again Betsy de La Touche, the daughter 
of my step-mother. She had been confided to my 
care in 1789 and 1790 when she was at the Convent 
of the Assumption where I often went to see her and 
whence I alone had permission to take her out from 
time to time. She had married Edward de Fitz- 
James. She was a sweet and amiable young woman, 
worthy of all good fortune. She was passionately 
fond of her husband, who did not return her affection, 
and his cruel and public infidelities had broken her 

Alexandre de La Touche, her brother, was three 
years younger than herself. He was a handsome 
young man, light headed, gay, but with little mind 
and still less education. He had all the whims of the 
young emigres who had nothing to do, was destitute 



of any talent, loved horses, society and small in- 
trigues, but never opened a book. My step-mother, 
who as long as I knew her never had a book on the 
table, could not have given him any taste for reading. 
She herself was not lacking in natural intelligence 
and had good manners and was well bred. Neverthe- 
less, I have often asked myself why my father, who 
was endowed with a superior mind and was a man 
of fine education, had married a woman older than 
himself. It is true that she was rich, but, nevertheless, 
she could not pass for being what was called an 
heiress. Although he desired a son above all things, 
they had only three daughters. Two died as small 
children and only the eldest, Fanny, survived. 

My -uncle the Archbishop and my grandmother 
were living in London. I had not seen them since my 
departure from their house in 1788, nine years 
before. My aunt, Lady Jerningham, thought that I 
would do well to pay them my respects, and the good 
Chevalier, her brother-in-law, undertook to ask them 
if they would consent to receive me. My grandmother, 
seeing that the Archbishop desired it, dared not offer 
any opposition. At the same time she made a condi- 
tion that my husband should not accompany me. I 
could have made this condition a pretext for not 
going to see them but I feigned ignorance. My hus- 
band besides was very happy to be relieved of this 
visit, for even at this time, he confessed to me later, 
he knew that my grandmother had spoken very un- 
kindly of me since she had been in London. If I had 
known this at the time, I should certainly have re- 
frained from going to see her. 


One morning, therefore, I turned my steps towards 
Thayer Street with my little Humbert. It was not 
without an emotion mingled with many different 
feelings, that I knocked at the door of this modest 
mansion inhabited by my uncle and my grandmother. 
This house seemed to me to take the place, without 
transition, of the fine hotel of the Faubourg Saint- 
Germain, where I had passed my childhood sur- 
rounded by the luxury and the splendor which can 
be obtained in life with an income of 400,000 francs, 
which the Archbishop of Narbonne enjoyed at that 

An old domestic opened the door for me. On seeing 
me he burst into tears. He was one of the servants 
of Hautefontaine, where he had been present at my 
marriage. He preceded me and I heard him announce 
me in a voice full of emotion, saying: "Here is Mme. 
de Gouvernet." My grandmother arose and came to 
meet me. I kissed her hand. Her reception was very 
cold and she called me "Madame." At the same 
moment the Archbishop entered and throwing his 
arms around my neck he kissed me tenderly, and 
then seeing my son, he embraced him several times. 
He addressed several questions in English and in 
French to the boy, who replied with an intelligence 
which charmed my uncle. 

My uncle invited me to come to dinner the follow- 
ing day, with six old Bishops from Languedoc whom 
he had taken en pension at his table. They were all 
former acquaintances of mine. As for my husband 
he was not mentioned. I announced my plan to go 
and visit my aunt at Cossey during the period of her 



sojourn there. The Archbishop expressed his satis- 
faction but my grandmother was certainly much put 

Lady Jerningham, who had been very anxious as 
to the result of my visit, was happy that everything 
had gone so well. The following day my aunt took 
me to see two other uncles. One was Lord Dillon, 
elder brother of my father. He lived in a handsome 
mansion in Portman Square, with his second wife, 
two of her daughters, and a young son eight or nine 
years of age, who was a beautiful boy. Lady Dillon 
had been a Mile. Rogier of Belgian origin. She had all 
the appearance of what she was in reality, a former 
actress. She had been the mistress of my uncle before 
his marriage to Miss Phipps, daughter of Lord Mul- 
grave. From this liaison had been born a son who, 
according to the custom allowed in England among 
the Protestants, had been authorized to bear the 
name of his father. As I have already stated at the 
commencement of these Recollections, Lord Dillon, 
at the time that he bore only the title of the Honor- 
able Charles Dillon, was a gambler and a spend- 
thrift and was loaded with debt. He abjured the 
religion of his fathers to become a Protestant at the 
instigation of his grand-uncle, Robert Lee, fourth 
and last Earl of Lichfield, who had demanded this 
as the price of his inheritance, an income of 15,00x3 
pounds sterling and the beautiful castle of Ditchley. 
Assured of this handsome fortune and wishing to 
have an heir, he married a Protestant, Miss Phipps, 
and made her so unhappy that she died at the age 
of twenty-five years, leaving him a son, Henry 



Augustus, who later became Viscount Dillon, and a 
daughter who married Sir Thomas Webb. 

My uncle then lived openly with Mile. Rogier, by 
whom he had had two daughters during the life of 
his wife. After his wife's death he publicly married 
her. His sister, Lady Jerningham, was extremely dis- 
satisfied, and to appease her, he confided to her his 
legitimate son to bring up, and only kept with him 
the two bastards. These used his name, with this 
difference, that they did not put upon their visiting 
cards "Honorable Miss Dillon," but "Miss Dillon" 
only. They were both charming girls, pretty and well 
brought up. One died at the age of eighteen and the 
other married Lord Frederick Beauclerk, brother of 
the Duke of Saint-Albans. 

As my aunt was not particularly anxious to see 
Lady Dillon, I went to her house with her daughter, 
Lady Bedingfeld, my cousin, who was at that time 
in London for several days. Lord Dillon received us 
very politely, but as a man of the world, without 
showing the least interest. He offered us his box for 
the Opera for the same evening, and we accepted. 
This was the only benefit that I received from him. 
He gave a pension of 1,000 pounds sterling to his 
uncle the Archbishop, who was eighty years of age. 
As far as I was concerned, although I was the daughter 
of his brother, he never came to my aid during the 
two years and a half I passed in England. 

The second uncle whom I visited, this time with 
Lady Jerningham, was Lord Kenmare who had 
formerly borne the name of Valentine Browne. He 
received me in a very different manner, although I 



was his niece only by his first wife, a sister of my 
father, who had been dead for many years. He was 
then remarried. By his first wife he had a daughter, 
Lady Charlotte Browne, who was accordingly my 
cousin. She later became by marriage Lady Charlotte 

Lord Kenmare, his daughter and all his family 
received me with the greatest kindness and goodness, 
and the friendship of Lady Charlotte in particular 
has never become cold. She was then eighteen years 
of age and had many aspirants for her hand as she 
had a fortune of 20,000 pounds sterling. 

I went to see my aunt Mme. d'Henin at Richmond. 
She was much displeased over our plan of passing 
some time at Cossey with Lady Jerningham. Mme. 
d'Henin was exceedingly domineering, even to the 
point of tyranny, and everything which brought the 
slightest umbrage to her empire put her out to a 
most unreasonable degree. Her authority was exer- 
cised principally upon Monsieur de Lally, although 
it must be admitted that she was very useful to him 
through the firmness and decision of her character. 
But she did not suffer any rival and Monsieur de 
Lally had committed the imprudence, during the 
two or three months that Mme. d'Henin had passed 
in France, of going to Cossey where he had enjoyed 
himself like a school-boy on his vacation. Mme. 
d'Henin had accordingly conceived a great aversion 
for Lady Jerningham. Accordingly on learning that 
her nephew, Monsieur de La Tour du Pin, and I had 
formed the project of passing six months in the 



country with Lady Jerningham, she had a feeling of 
vexation which she did not try to dissimulate. In 
spite of her character, Mme. d'Henin nevertheless 
did not lack a spirit of justice. She was forced to 
admit that, having arrived in England without re- 
sources, it was very natural for us to accept with 
pleasure an invitation from a relative so near and so 
highly considered in the world as my aunt Jerning- 
ham. Mme. d'Henin and Monsieur de Lally had an 
establishment in common. The age of the two should 
have prevented the public from finding any scandal- 
ous motive in this association. Nevertheless, people 
turned the matter into ridicule. Mme. d'Henin in spite 
of her real and great qualities was not generally liked. 

After a residence of three days at London, I 
realized that I would not have any pleasure in stay- 
ing there longer. The society of the emigres, their 
gossip, their little intrigues and slander had rendered 
my sojourn disagreeable. 

Finally to my great joy the time came for our de- 
parture for Cossey. Lady Jerningham had preceded 
us to the country. It was therefore arranged that I 
should stay with my step-mother, Mme. Dillon, for 
several days. There I learned with great satisfaction 
that Edward de Fitz-James had some saddle-horses. 
As I had the reputation of being an excellent horse- 
woman, he procured for me a side-saddle. My step- 
mother gave me a fine equestrian habit and every 
day we took long rides. 

We set out from London like a caravan: my step- 
mother, myself, my daughter, my son, my maid 
Marguerite and Flora, the colored maid of Mme. 


Dillon, in one berline ; Mme. de Fitz-James, Alexandra 
de La Touche and my husband in another. Then 
followed the aged governess of Betsy and finally 
Monsieur de Fitz-James, his horses, grooms and so on. 

We stopped for the night at Newmarket where 
are held the famous horse-races, which I was very 
curious to see. We remained here all the next day. 
It was the last day of the races and the one on which 
was run the Royal Cup. We passed the whole day 
upon the turf and by a good chance, quite rare in 
England, the weather was very fine. I have guarded 
the memory of this day as one of those in my life 
when I was the most amused and interested. The 
following day we set out to arrive for the night at 
Cossey. It was, I think, during the first days of 
October, 1797. 

My aunt, who was very fond of children, took 
possession of Humbert. Every morning after break- 
fast she took him to her room and kept him all the 
morning, occupied in giving him lessons and making 
him read and write in English and in French. His 
toilette also was the object of her care. She furnished 
him with suits, overcoats, linen and a complete 
child's wardrobe. She was also extremely kind to me. 
Having observed that I was able to make my dresses 
myself, under the pretext of inspiring in Fanny 
Dillon a love of work, she brought to my room and 
placed at my disposal pieces of muslin and material 
of every kind, an attention which was all the more 
agreeable as I had arrived from France very lightly 
dressed for the climate of England. 

My aunt had learned that my children had not 



been inoculated (vaccination having then only re- 
cently been discovered) and she took charge of supply- 
ing this omission and had her own surgeon come from 
Norwich to perform the operation. In fine, she sur- 
rounded us with care of every kind, and the time 
which I passed at Cossey was as agreeable as we 
could have possibly wished. 

Sir William possessed an income estimated at 
18,000 pounds sterling, which does not constitute a 
large fortune in England, but was sufficient to enable 
him to live handsomely. His house was old but 
convenient. The chapel in which the chaplain of- 
ficiated was installed in the garret, following the 
usage of the Catholics prior to the Emancipation. 

The winter passed very agreeably. Towards the 
month of March, Mme. Dillon, my sister Fanny, and 
Monsieur and Mme. de Fitz-James returned to 
London. But we remained at Cossey until the month 
of May. As my aunt was to pass the summer at 
London, Sir William proposed to us to take possession, 
during the period of his absence, of a pretty cottage 
which he had built in the park. I preferred, however, 
not to remain there alone, and furthermore Mme. 
d'Henin was very much enraged at the idea of the 
prolongation of our sojourn in the country and in- 
sisted on having us with her at Richmond where she 
could give us lodging. We therefore agreed to go 
there and rejoin her, although it was much against 
my desire; but my husband did not wish to disoblige 
his aunt and besides this, we had some business in 
London about which I am going to speak. 


175? - 1838 


As I have not re-read the first part of these Recollec- 
tions, I am not certain that I stated that at the time 
of my arrival at Boston I had written my excellent 
instructor, Monsieur Combes, who was then living 
with my step-mother at Martinique. My father had 
given him a good position, that of Recorder of the 
Island. He had exercised this function at Saint- 
Christophe and Tabago and, living in the house, he 
had been able to accumulate his salary until it 
amounted to the sum of 60,000 francs. Mme. Dillon 
had borrowed this capital from him, agreeing to pay 
him interest. When Monsieur Combes learned at 
Martinique of our arrival at Boston, and also of 
our intention to buy property, the excellent man, who 
loved me like a father, had the thought of joining this 
sum, his entire fortune, to the funds which we 
possessed, in order to permit us to acquire a more 
considerable establishment, where he would come to 
be with us and pass the rest of his days. He therefore 
asked Mme. Dillon to repay the capital which he 
had loaned her. She not only refused his demand, 
but she also would not set the time when she would 
repay his money. He was in despair over the failure 
of his plans and prayed and menaced Mme. Dillon, 
but all without effect. Every vessel which came from 
Martinique to the United States brought me a letter 
from him. He wrote that he did not dare to leave 
Mme. Dillon, hoping that by his presence he would 
finally succeed in obtaining his money. In the midst 
of all this, Mme. Dillon left for England. Before her 
departure, poor Monsieur Combes who remained at 
Martinique succeeded in obtaining a paper, in due 



form, acknowledging the debt of 60,000 francs of 
capital and the interest which then amounted to 
nearly 10,000 francs, in addition. 

Upon my arrival at Richmond, I received the sad 
news of the death of my old friend. A short time 
before, in his last letter, he had told me that the 
climate of the Islands, and still more the chagrin at 
knowing that I was again in France without re- 
sources, was killing him. He added that he was 
writing to Mme. Dillon requesting her to pay me 
the interest of the capital of 70,000 francs which she 
owed him. 

By will, in legal form, he left me his credit of 
70,000 francs on Mme. Dillon, as well as the running 
income which amounted to 1500 or 1800 francs. 
From the very day that she knew of this legacy the 
attitude of Mme. Dillon towards us completely 
changed. She kept a fine house at London and spent 
freely in dinners and evening entertainments, but if 
we had need of money she referred us to a Creole 
emigre who was charged with the care of her affairs. 
To all our demands with the object of having her 
fix a date when she would pay the interest of our 
credit, she replied evasively. One time there was no 
sale for her sugar, another time her funds had not 
been received. In short, every day some new excuse 
was offered. Having addressed myself directly to her, 
I was very badly received. We spoke of the matter 
to her son, Alexandre de La Touche. My husband 
also took the matter up with her man-of-affairs, but 
all of our attempts remained without success. 

The money which we received was given us like 


alms, although it came from our own property. 
Nevertheless, it was necessary for us to pay our part 
of the expenses with Mme. d'Henin, and this con- 
stituted for us a new cause of embarrassment. How 
many times I regretted that I had not remained at 
Cossey ! 

Our participation in the household of Mme. 
d'Henin was to me insupportable. She had given us 
such bad quarters that we were not able to receive 
any one. Our lodging comprised only two small bed- 
rooms on the ground floor, and in England it is not 
customary to receive visitors in your bed-rooms. I 
occupied one of these rooms with my daughter, and 
my husband the other with our son. In the evening 
only, we found our aunt in a handsome salon which 
she had on the first floor. It was very inconvenient 
certainly, but, if our life had been pleasant, I would 
not have been disturbed. While admitting the great 
and fine qualities of Mme. d'Henin, and never failing 
to show her the respect which I owed her, I was 
forced nevertheless to recognize that our characters 
were not sympathetic. Perhaps it was my fault and 
I should have remained insensible to the thousand 
pin pricks which she gave me. Monsieur de Lally, 
the most timid of men, would not have dared to 
venture the least drollery which might have amused 
me. I was still young and gay. At twenty-eight years 
of age how could I have had the severity of mien 
imposed by the fifty years of my aunt ? Absorbed in 
politics, the only thing which interested her was the 
Constitution which it was necessary to give to France. 
This bored me to death. And then came the writings 


of Monsieur de Lally which it was necessary to read 
and re-read, word by word, phrase by phrase. In 
fine, I aspired to have a household of my own, no 
matter how small it might be. As I could not see 
any opportunity, I was resigned. 




The Princesse de Bouillon in England. Birth and Death of 
Edward. Change of Residence at Richmond. Facilities 
of Life in England. Narrow Circumstances of Monsieur 
and Mme. de La Tour du Pin. Distress of Monsieur de 
Chambeau. He is Aided by Monsieur de La Tour du 
Pin. The One Hundred Pounds of Edward Jerningham. 
A Week at London. An Eight Days' Excursion. Plans 
for Return to France Abandoned. The Circulating 

IT was at the beginning of the summer of 1798 
that the Princesse de Bouillon, of whom I have 
spoken at the commencement of these Recollec- 
tions, came to England to arrange the affairs of an 
inheritance which had been left her by her friend, 
the Duchesse de Biron. If I am not mistaken, the 
sum involved was 600,000 francs in English funds. 
Mme. de Bouillon was a German, Princesse de Hesse- 
Rothenbourg, although she had passed her life in 
France where she had married the cripple who had 
never been her husband except in name. Joined by 
a long and faithful attachment to Prince Emmanuel 
de Salm, she had had a daughter who was brought 
up under the name of Theresia. During the emigra- 
tion this daughter had married a young counsellor 
of the Parlement of Aix who has since become well 
known, M. de Vitrolles. 



One morning after my aunt had gone to make a 
call on Mme. de Bouillon, I saw these two ladies 
return together. Several moments later, Mme. d'Henin 
entered my room accompanied by my hushand. "We 
have arranged for you," she said. "Monsieur de 
Vitrolles is going away, and Mme. de Bouillon does 
not wish to remain alone in her lodging, although she 
has it at her disposal for three months still. She 
wishes to give it up to you in exchange for your own. 
You will be much more comfortable there." A sign 
from my husband gave me to understand that I ought 
to accept this proposition. 

I therefore moved to the dwelling of Mme. de 
Bouillon, and here was born a boy to whom we gave 
the name of Edward, as he was the god-son of Lady 
Jerningham and her son Edward. The good Chevalier 
Jerningham came to see me and said that my aunt, 
his sister-in-law, thought that with three children, 
I could not, when I left my present residence, return 
to the two little rooms of the modest lodging which 
I had occupied with Mme. d'Henin. He had therefore 
undertaken to find a small house at Richmond where 
we would be at home. His search had succeeded be- 
yond anything we could have hoped for. 

The house belonged to a former actress of Drury 
Lane who had been at one time very beautiful and 
very popular. She never occupied it, but the dwelling 
was so neat and well kept that she was not anxious 
to lease it. However, the eloquence of the Chevalier 
and the forty-five pounds sterling offered as rent by 
Lady Jerningham decided her. This little house 
which was a real jewel was only fifteen feet wide. 



On the ground floor was a hall, a pretty salon with 
two windows and then a stairway which was hardly 
visible. The first floor comprised two charming bed- 
rooms, and the floor above, two other rooms for 
servants. At the end of the hall, on the ground floor, 
was a nice kitchen which looked out on a miniature 
garden, with only a path and two flower-beds. There 
were rugs everywhere and fine English oilcloth in 
the passage-ways and upon the staircase. Nothing 
could have been more attractive, cleaner and more 
gracefully furnished than this little house which 
could have all been put in a room of medium size. 

However, I was very unhappy in taking possession, 
for that very day I lost my little boy, aged three 
months. He was carried off in a moment by an attack 
of pleurisy which I attributed to the neglect of the 
English maid who cared for him. I was very ill and 
almost dying when I took possession of the little 
house with my two surviving children, Humbert and 
Charlotte. Having only these two children to look 
after, we discharged our English servant. My maid, 
Marguerite, had learned a little cooking during my 
absence in the United States and she very willingly 
placed her experience and above all her zeal at our 

England, where there are fortunes so immense, 
existences so luxurious, is at the same time the 
country in the world where poor people can live in 
the most comfortable manner. For instance, there is 
no necessity for going to market. The butcher never 
fails a single day to come at a fixed hour crying, 
"Butcher," at your door. You open the door and 



tell him what you want. Is it a leg of lamb ? He brings 
it all arranged ready to put upon the spit. Is it lamb 
chops? They are arranged on a little wooden platter 
which he calls for the following day. On a slip of 
paper are written the weight and the price. 

About this time, as Mme. Dillon refused to pay 
our income, we found ourselves much embarrassed. 
All the money which we had on hand was five or 
six hundred francs, and when this sum was spent 
we did not know what we could do, not for a lodging, 
for our little house cost us nothing, but literally for 
our food. My friend, Chevalier Jerningham, had in- 
formed me that my uncle, Lord Dillon, had refused 
with the greatest severity to come to our aid. In 
addition to this, all communications had ceased with 

At this moment we received from Monsieur de 
Chambeau, who was still living in Spain, a despondent 
letter in which he said that he had no news from 
France and that nobody had sent him a sou. His 
uncle, a former Fermier General, of whom he was 
the sole heir, had just died after having made a will 
in his favor, but the government had confiscated the 
inheritance on the ground that he was an emigre. 
The day that he wrote us, a last louis composed his 
entire fortune, and he could no longer count upon 
his friends in Spain, whose good will he had already 
exhausted. Upon receiving this letter, my husband 
did not hesitate a moment to share with his friend 
the last of his funds. He rushed to a banker where 
he purchased a draft for ten pounds sterling, payable 
to bearer. The same day he sent it to Madrid. This 



was nearly a half of our own resources. There re- 
mained with us only twelve pounds sterling on hand, 
without any other resources to pay our bills when this 
sum was spent. We were not willing to ask the aid 
accorded by the English government to the emigres, 
on account of my family, and above all, on account 
of Lady Jerningham. So far as Lord Dillon was 
concerned, I had no scruples of any kind. Out of 
respect for the memory of my father, I did not wish 
to declare publicly that his widow, Mme. Dillon, my 
step-mother, who was proprietor of a house at London 
where she gave dinners and evening entertainments, 
had refused to come to my succor. 

A last five pound note was all we had left, when 
one morning my good cousin, Edward Jerningham, 
came to see me. He was a charming young man who 
had just passed his twenty-first birthday. He well 
justified the passionate love which his mother felt 
for him. As he arose to leave, I went to the door to 
see him mount his horse. He remained a moment 
behind and I saw him slip something into my work- 
basket. I made a pretense of not noticing anything, 
on account of his extreme embarrassment. After his 
departure I found in my basket a sealed letter ad- 
dressed to me. It contained only these words: 
"Offered to my dear cousin by her friend, Ned," 
and a note for one hundred pounds sterling. 

My husband returned a moment afterwards, and 
I said to him : " See, here is the reward for what you 
have done for Monsieur de Chambeau." The next 
day, as you may well suppose, he went to London to 
thank Edward but found that he had already left 



for Cossey. Several days later, I also went to London 
with two English ladies whom I knew and whom I 
frequently saw at Richmond. They were two sisters, 
of whom the elder, Miss Lydia White, has been 
celebrated as a famous "Blue Stocking." She had 
conceived for me a kind of romantic passion, on 
account of my adventures in America. One of these 
ladies sang well, and we enjoyed our music together. 
Their books were at my disposal. When I went to 
visit them in the morning they kept me with them 
the whole day, and, when the evening arrived, I was 
only able to tear myself away by promising to return 
before the end of the week. Having formed the plan 
of passing a week at London, they implored Monsieur 
de La Tour du Pin to permit me to accompany them. 
This little trip to London with Miss Lydia White 
and her sister put me somewhat in touch with society. 
We went to the Opera and they also took me to a 
large assembly at the house of a lady whom I hardly 
saw. There were people on the stairway, and no one 
was able to sit down. We had great difficulty in 
leaving the house, the crowd of guests was so nu- 
merous. At the end of the week, which appeared to 
me long and tiresome, I returned with pleasure to 

Monsieur de Poix, who was living at Richmond, 
had an excellent horse and a tilbury. Frequently I 
went on foot to Teddington, a village about two 
miles from Richmond, and he brought me back to 
Richmond in his carriage. 

In this way passed the summer of 1798. 

We made an excursion of a week of which I retain 



the pleasantest recollections. My children were so 
safe with my excellent maid, that this little absence 
did not cause me any disquietude. We set out, 
Monsieur de Poix and I in his tilbury, my husband 
on horseback, and, having passed Windsor, we went 
to spend the night at Maidenhead. From there we 
went to Oxford, to Blenheim, to Stowe, and returned 
by Aylesbury and Uxbridge. The beautiful country 
estates which we visited charmed me. It is in the 
country only that the English are really grands 
seigneurs. We were favored by very fine weather 
during the whole week which we employed for this 
excursion. In this connection, I must say that the 
climate of England, outside of London, is very much 
calumniated. I have not found it worse than that of 
Holland, and incomparably better and less uncertain 
than that of Belgium. Our little trip left with me the 
most agreeable impression. 

Returned to Ricnmond, I resumed my household 
occupations. The news from France appeared some- 
what better. My husband even formed the plan of 
sending me over lor several days, armed with an 
English passport, which would not have been en- 
tirely false, since I should have signed it by my 
maiden name, Lucy Dillon. At this moment un- 
favorable news was received, and this determined me 
to renounce my trip to France. The news came the 
very day that I was to set out. Personally I was 
much pleased not to undertake this trip which was 
very disagreeable to me, not because I was afraid, 
but because the thought of leaving my husband and 



children caused me a real chagrin. At this time, I 
made the resolution never to return to France with- 
out them. 

My life at Richmond was very monotonous. I no 
longer saw anything of Mme. Dillon, since we had 
succeeded in getting some money from her at the 
end of a very lively correspondence between my 
husband and her man-of-affairs. When I went to 
London, which happened only once or twice, I saw 
no one except Lady Jerningham or Lord Kenmare, 
who for a year past had given me six louis a month. 
Once a week I paid a visit to Mme. de Duras at 
Teddington where I went sometimes alone on foot 
and sometimes with Monsieur de Poix in his carriage. 

Towards the end of the winter, Miss White left 
Richmond. This was a real grief to me, not because 
we had formed a durable friendship, but because she 
had been so kind to me that I had found her sojourn 
in our neighborhood very agreeable. 

For some time past my health had not been good. 
I felt very languid, without knowing exactly what 
was the matter with me. I was not able to have a 
carriage, and our house was situated in a remote 
quarter called "The Green." I had therefore given 
up going out after supper and devoted my evenings 
to reading the books which Miss White, who had a 
fine library, had sent me in large numbers. A sub- 
scription to the Circulating Library is very dear in 
England and I was not able to take one. Therefore, 
you can imagine my joy when one day I received a 
box addressed in my name, of which the messenger 



gave me the key. I opened it and found ten volumes 
from Ookam's Circulating Library at London, with 
a catalogue of twenty thousand volumes of all kinds, 
English and French, which were contained in this 
library. Joined to this consignment was a receipt 
in my name for a year's subscription, with a notice 
that by putting the box on the stage at seven o'clock 
in the morning, I would receive the same evening the 
new books which I had ordered. Nothing could have 
been more agreeable to me than this attention. I 
attributed it to Miss White. Having written to 
thank her, she made no reply, from which I inferred 
that she did not wish to admit that she had sent the 

The summer of 1799 my health was somewhat 
better. Our house on "The Green" had a party wall 
with that of a rich alderman of London. A little 
fence, eight or ten feet from our windows, formed a 
barrier between the two properties, as is usual in 
England. The house of the alderman had a pretty 
yard covered with turf, surrounded like our own by 
a fence. My son had arranged a small flower-bed in 
the little space which he called his garden. He entered 
this by the window of our sitting room where I al- 
ways sat with my work. His sister, Charlotte, often 
accompanied him to the garden. As we were living 
in an out of the way place, hardly any one ever 
passed our house. 




Again at Cossey. News of the 18 Brumaire. Plans for Re- 
turn to France. The Wait at Yarmouth. The Crossing. 
The Debarkment at Cuxhaven. In the North of 
Germany. The Ball at Wildeshausen. Birth of Cecile. 
En Route for Holland. At Utrecht. Unexpected Meet- 
ing with Mme. d'Henin. Arrival at Paris. Residence 
in the Rue de Miromesnil. Mme. Bonaparte. Monsieur 
de Beauharnais the Best Dancer in Paris. The Morality 
of Talleyrand. A Visit to Mme. Bonaparte. Certificates 
of Residence. At Malmaison. The Gallery of Mme. 
Bonaparte. Mme. de Stael and Bonaparte. 

THE summer of 1799 passed without any- 
thing unusual. Lady Jerningham was again 
settled at Cossey, where she had invited me 
to rejoin her and pass the six months of her sojourn 
in the country. The lease of our house at Richmond, 
which she had taken for us, was on the point of 
expiring, and it would have been hardly considerate 
on our part to ask her to renew it, with the view of 
not accepting the hospitality which she offered us. 
My aunt was alone at Cossey. Her niece, Fanny 
Dillon, my cousin, whom she had brought up, had 
just married Sir Thomas Webb, a Catholic Baronet 
who was quite an ordinary man although very well 
born. Her eldest son, George Jerningham, had also 



married a Miss Sulyard, a very beautiful young lady 
belonging to an old and noble Catholic family. 
William Jerningham was in Germany. Her favorite 
son, Edward, had not left her, and that was all that 
was necessary. Under these circumstances, it would 
have been a real disgrace for us not to go to Cossey. 
We were making our preparations accordingly to set 
out, when there arrived the news of the unexpected 
return from Egypt of General Bonaparte who had 
landed at Frejus. 

On learning of this event we left at once for Cossey 
with the hope of being able soon to go over to the 
Continent and perhaps to return to France. It was 
during our sojourn there that we received the happy 
news of the fall of the Directory and of the Revolu- 
tion of the 1 8 Brumaire. Some time later we received 
letters from Monsieur de Brouquens and our brother- 
in-law, the Marquis de Lameth, urging us to return 
to France by way of Holland with German passports. 

Lady Jerningham proposed that my husband 
should leave alone. This would perhaps have been 
better on account of the state of my health, but no 
consideration could determine me to be separated 
from my husband for an indefinite time. The com- 
munications between England and France, in time 
of war, might be entirely interrupted. The news 
which we received from Hamburg was often a month 
old; so we rejected all the propositions of Lady 

A Danish passport was sent from London for my 
husband, my children and myself. We set out for 
Yarmouth with the idea of taking passage on a 



packet of the Royal Marine. At this time there were 
no steamboats. Our wait at Yarmouth was prolonged 
during the whole month of December. We did not 
dare to return to Cossey, although the distance was 
only eighteen miles, as the Captain had declared that 
as soon as the wind became favorable, that is to say, 
from the southeast, he would sail immediately. He 
would hardly consent to let us remain on land, as he 
was in such haste to leave as soon as possible. Every 
courier brought dispatches from the government. 

Never had I passed such tedious days as during 
the month we were at Yarmouth. We were living in 
a very poor lodging with two rooms, and we were not 
able to go out for the weather was frightful. The 
contrary winds blew with fury. Every day there were 
reports of vessels which had been lost. You can 
imagine how such news was of a nature to discourage 
persons who might be called upon to embark at any 

Finally one morning they came to inform us that 
it was necessary to go on board, where our baggage 
had been already for a long time. Hardly had we set 
foot on deck when the anchor was lifted. The sea 
was very rough and we had a very disagreeable 
passage which lasted forty-eight hours. About the 
middle of the second night we were for some hours 
uncertain as to whether or not we might be left on 
Heligoland, a little island off the mouth of the Elbe, 
in case the current did not loosen the ice. The Captain 
subsequently declared that on account of the violent 
weather, if the wind had veered a single point to the 
north, he would have been forced to return to Eng- 



land without attempting to land. Fortunately^ we 
escaped both of these eventualities. After having 
passed the island of Heligoland we entered the Elbe 
and moored in the offing of the little port of Cuxhaven 
which we did not enter. 

The Captain was in haste to be relieved of his 
passengers. Everything was thrown pell-mell into the 
long-boat. My husband and my maid left with my 
son. As for myself, the Captain, on account of the 
state of my health, put me with my little girl in his 
private boat and ordered the two sailors to land me 
as near as possible to the city. This injunction was 
nearly fatal to me. The tide being low, when we came 
alongside the jetty, I found much difficulty in land- 
ing. The two sailors seized me then by the wrists 
and, in spite of the motion of the boat, they would 
not let go, fortunately, for I certainly should have 
fallen into the sea. Then they hoisted me on the jetty 
in such a manner that for several moments I was 
suspended by the arms. They left me then alone 
with my little Charlotte. Although I was feeling very 
ill, I was forced nevertheless to set out to meet my 
husband whom I perceived at a distance in a small 
wagon in which were our baggage and my maid. I 
felt a violent pain in my right side and I have always 
thought since that I suffered some internal injury. 
We were obliged to knock at the door of two or three 
inns without being able to find a lodging, on account 
of the number of emigres who were leaving for or 
arriving from England. 

Finally we succeeded in persuading one inn-keeper 
to give us temporary quarters. A few moments later 



I was taken with a violent fever and was out of my 
head. My husband who was very anxious sent for a 
doctor. After a long search they brought back one 
who did not speak a word of French. He applied a 
plaster to my side and ordered me a calming draft 
which caused me to sleep continuously for twenty- 
four hours. On waking up I felt all right again. 

While I was asleep my husband had purchased for 
two hundred francs a little old caleche which was 
sufficiently spacious to contain us all. After a second 
day of repose we set out in this open carriage in the 
month of January, in the north of Germany. Fortu- 
nately the weather was favorable the first days of our 
journey. The fourth day a torrential rain did not 
cease to fall. Marguerite and I were somewhat pro- 
tected by the back of the caleche, but my husband 
and my son, in spite of an umbrella, were wet to the 
skin. We remained two days at Bremen to dry our 
clothes behind the fine large stoves which you find 
in the German houses, and also to obtain a little 
repose. Then the weather became fine and we again 
set out. Much snow had fallen and it was difficult to 
distinguish the route in the plains of heather which 
we were traversing. 

Towards evening we arrived at the little city of 
Wildeshausen where we were to pass the night. It 
was situated in the electorate of Hanover and had 
consequently a Hanoverian garrison. The officers that 
day were giving a great ball to another regiment 
which was passing through. All the rooms of the only 
inn in the locality were occupied. We found refuge 



in the vestibule near the stove and were very sad 
over the prospect of passing the night upon the 
wooden benches, when an officer all dressed for the 
ball came gallantly to say to me in English that as 
he was to pass the whole night at the ball he would 
place his room at my disposal. There we went for 

A little later I was taken very ill and the proprie- 
tor of the hotel sent a messenger to the end of the 
city to awaken an old hairdresser, a Frenchman by 
origin, who had been settled at Wildeshausen since 
the Seven Years' War. He arrived very promptly as 
he had not yet gone to bed on account of the ball. 
His first care was to run in search of a physician who 
lived in the vicinity. The doctor, an elegant young 
man, arrived, wearing white gloves. He had left the 
ball and was still out of breath from his last waltz. 
His acquaintance with the French language com- 
prised only several medical phrases. The old per- 
ruquier, Denis, fortunately came to our rescue to 
explain the nature of my malady. He asked if I 
could be transported without trouble to two rooms 
which he knew were to let at the end of the city. 
The doctor consented and then returned to the ball. 
Denis ran to awaken the proprietor of these rooms 
and before daybreak I was settled there. 

The house, like all those of the prosperous peasants 
of this part of Germany, had a large porte-cochere 
by which you entered a large carriage house which 
occupied the whole depth of the house. In front, at 
right and left of this carriage house on the ground 
floor were two good rooms, very neat and quite well 



furnished. Marguerite and my two children took one, 
while I was placed in the larger room, and my hus- 
band took possession of a small cabinet adjoining. 

The following morning, the thirteenth of February, 
1800, was born my little girl, to whom we gave the 
name of Cecile. 

The following day the bailiff of the locality, who 
had already sent once in search of our passport, 
dispatched one of the village guards to lead Monsieur 
de La Tour du Pin to him. He said to my husband 
in good French: "Sir, your Danish passport is under 
a false name. You are French and an emigre, and in 
the electorate of Hanover where you are now, it is 
forbidden to allow the sojourn of French emigres 
more than forty-eight hours." 

My husband was terrified by this discourse. He 
alleged that I was not in a state to be transported, 
but the bailiff was inflexible as to the departure of 
my husband and declared that before the end of the 
day he must take his choice between leaving for 
Hanover and returning to Bremen. Then he added: 
"Sir, since you acknowledge that you are French, 
let me know your real name." 

"La Tour du Pin." 

"Ah! mon Dieu," cried the bailiff. "Are you the 
former Minister of France to The Hague?" 


"Well, sir, if it is so, remain here as long as you 
wish. My nephew, Monsieur Hinuber, a very young 
man, was Minister of Hanover at The Hague. He 
often visited your house and you were very kind to 



From this moment he placed himself at our disposal 
with the greatest zeal. 

In two weeks I was up again, and at the end of 
another week we set out after having taken tea with 
the bailiff, the burgomaster and the curate. As there 
was a Catholic Church at Wildeshausen, my little 
daughter was baptized there. She was held at the 
font by the old perruquier, and his wife, who during 
the forty years of their marriage had never learned 
a word of French. 

We took the route of Lingen to enter Holland. 
For several leagues we were accompanied by a 
number of young men. Before leaving they insisted 
that I should drink a cup of a German mixture of 
which they had prepared the ingredients. I thought 
it would be detestable but nevertheless, after having 
tasted it, I found the beverage delicious. It was com- 
posed of warm Bordeaux wine in which they had 
put yolks of eggs and spices. The Doctor was among 
those who had accompanied me and it was by his 
advice that I swallowed this mixture which some- 
what inebriated me. The worthy fellows of our escort 
then left us and wished us with fervor a bon voyage. 
Their wish brought us good fortune for nothing 
troublesome happened, and my little girl endured the 
trip in an astonishing manner for a baby who was 
not a month old. 

We finally arrived at Utrecht, and my husband 
went at once to The Hague to obtain a passport 
en regie, from the Ambassador of the French Republic, 
Monsieur de Semonville. The latter, who turned with 



each wind which blew, had already succeeded in 
pleasing the new government of which Bonaparte 
was the head. My husband had known Monsieur de 
Semonville very intimately for a long time, so he was 
received with open arms, and they fabricated for him 
a superb passport, attesting that he had not left 
Utrecht since the 18 Fructidor. 

During the short absence of Monsieur de La 
Tour du Pin, Mme. d'Henin, by the merest chance, 
passed through Utrecht, and my husband was very 
much surprised to find his aunt on his return from 
his trip to The Hague. I think that Mme. d'Henin 
was on her way to see Monsieur de La Fayette who 
had been living at Vianen near Utrecht, since his 
release from prison after the Peace of Campo Formio. 
I do not recall whether she had come from France or 
England. She always had two or three passports and 
changed her name and her route at every moment. 

We remained two days with her, and then taking 
advantage of a carriage which was being sent to 
Paris, and which we were charged to deliver at its 
destination, we set out. 

On arriving at Paris we stopped at the Hotel 
Grange-Bateliere. My brother-in-law Lameth and 
our friend Brouquens were at Paris. Monsieur de 
Lameth installed us in a charming little house entirely 
furnished, Rue de Miromesnil, which had been occu- 
pied prior to that by two or three friends who had 
just left to go and pass the whole summer in the 
country. We were predestined to live in the houses of 
courtesans. That at Richmond belonged to an actress; 
this one had been arranged for Mile. Michelot, former 


mistress of the Due de Bourbon. All the walls were 
ornamented with mirrors, with such prodigality that 
I was obliged to hang pieces of muslin to conceal 
the greater part of them, as I was much annoyed at 
not being able to move without encountering my 
form reflected from head to foot. 

At Paris I found many persons of my acquaintance 
who had already returned from the emigration. All 
the young people from this moment turned their 
eyes towards the rising sun, Mme. Bonaparte, who 
was installed at the Tuileries, where the apartments 
had been entirely refurnished as if by enchantment. 
She already put on the airs of a queen, but of a 
queen the most gracious, the most amiable, the most 
kind hearted. Although she had very little intelligence, 
she had nevertheless well penetrated the projects of 
her husband. The First Consul had given his wife 
the mission of bringing to him la haute societe, having 
been persuaded by Josephine that she belonged to it, 
which is not strictly true. I do not know whether she 
had ever been presented at Court or visited at 
Versailles, but thanks to the name of her first hus- 
band, Monsieur de Beauharnais, the thing was 
certainly possible. 

During the years 1787 to 1791, I met Monsieur de 
Beauharnais constantly in society. As he had seen 
my husband frequently when he was aide de camp of 
Monsieur de Bouille, during the war in America, 
Monsieur de Beauharnais said to him one day: 
"Come and see me, so that I may present you to 
my wife." My husband went there once but never 
went again. The society which met in their salon 


was not ours. Monsieur de Beauharnais nevertheless 
went everywhere, for during the war he had formed 
ties with a number of leaders of high society. He had 
a charming figure and had the reputation, justly, of 
being the finest dancer in Paris. I had often danced 
with him and I therefore experienced a very painful 
feeling when I heard of his death on the scaffold. 

I again saw Monsieur de Talleyrand, who was al- 
ways animated by the same sentiments towards me: 
amiable without being really useful. During the past 
two years he had worked so successfully at increasing 
his fortune that I found him settled in a beautiful 
house, his personal property, in the Rue d'Anjou. He 
laughed in his sleeve at the disposition on the part 
of all those who had returned to France to rally to 
the government. He said to me : 

"Que fait Gouvernet? Veut-il quelque chose?" 

"Non," I replied, "nous comptons aller nous 
installer au Bouilh." 

"Tant pis/' he exclaimed, "c'est une betise." 

"Mais," I replied, "nous ne sommes pas en etat 
de rester a Paris." 

"Bah!" he said, "on a toujours de Targent quand 
on veut." Voila rhomme! 

As soon as Mme. Bonaparte learned through Mme. 
de Valence and Mme. de Montesson of my presence 
in Paris she wished me to come and see her. To draw 
to her a woman still young, a former Lady of Honor 
very much in vogue, would be a conquest, if I dare 
say so, of which she was very impatient to boast to 
the First Consul. In order to give value to my con- 


descension, I allowed myself to be implored a little, 
then one morning, I went with Mme. de Valence to 
call on Mme. Bonaparte. I found in the salon a 
number of ladies and a group of young men, all of 
whom I knew. Mme. Bonaparte came to me crying: 
"Ah! la voila!" She seated me beside her and said 
a thousand pleasant things, repeating all the time: 
"Comme elle a 1'air anglais!" which ceased to be a 
praiseworthy trait a short time later. She examined 
me from head to foot and her attention was particu- 
larly drawn to a tress of blond hair which surrounded 
my head and from which her eyes could not be drawn. 
As we rose to leave she could not refrain from de- 
manding in a low tone of Mme. de Valence if this 
tress was indeed my own hair. 

Mme. Bonaparte spoke to me with much kindness 
of Mme. Dillon, my step-mother, and expressed a 
warm desire to make the acquaintance of my sister 
Fanny, who was at the same time her cousin (the 
mother of Mme. Dillon and of Josephine having been 
sisters). Then she continued by saying that all the 
emigres were going to return and that she was 
charmed, that they had suffered enough and that 
General Bonaparte wished above everything else to 
bring to an end the evils of the Revolution and so on, 
in short a lot of reassuring statements. She also asked 
for news of Monsieur de La Tour du Pin and evinced 
a desire of seeing him. She was leaving for Mal- 
maison and invited me to come there. She was very 
pleasant in every way and I saw clearly that the 
First Consul had intrusted to her the department of 
the ladies of the Court and the task of their conquest 



when she met them. The task was not very difficult, 
for all were rushing towards the rising power, and I 
do not know any one, except myself, who refused to 
be Lady of Honor to the Empress Josephine. 

Monsieur de La Tour du Pin and I had never been 
inscribed, I cannot explain why, upon the list of 
emigres. It was necessary however for us to obtain a 
certificate of residence in France, signed by nine 
witnesses, an indispensable formality of which, never- 
theless, no one was dupe. With this end we went to 
the Municipality of the quarter with our squad of 
witnesses. When the certificate was signed and clothed 
with all the necessary mensonges, the Mayor said to 
me in a low tone: "That does not prevent you from 
bringing from London all your effects/' Then he 
began to laugh. What a comedy! 

The place in Paris, during this summer, where the 
most distinguished company was brought together, 
was under the arch of a house in the Place de Ven- 
dome : that which forms the angle of the Place on the 
right in going towards the Rue Saint-Honore and 
on the side of that street. It was there that the Com- 
mission of the emigres held its sessions, a tribunal very 
easy to conciliate if you did not come with empty 
hands. In the crowds which assembled at this point 
you met the greatest personages mingled with brokers 
of every kind. 

The French find amusement in everything. The 
Commission of emigres had become a place of re- 
unions; people made appointments there; they went 
there to meet former acquaintances; to talk over their 
plans, their choice of residence. Many of those who 



came back considered the place as an employment 
bureau. We had no business with this Commission 
as we did not figure on the list of emigres. It was 
necessary, however, to have erased from this list the 
name of my mother-in-law. Although she had resided 
for thirty years in the Convent of the Dames An- 
glaises, of the Rue des Fosses-Saint-Victor, which she 
had never left, they had, nevertheless, inscribed her 
name. The sale of all the furniture of the Chateau 
of Tesson and of two farm houses had been the 
consequence of this unjustifiable inscription. 

One morning I went to Malmaison. It was after 
the battle of Marengo. Mme. Bonaparte gave me a 
wonderful reception, and after luncheon, which was 
served in a charming salle a manger, she invited me 
to see her picture gallery. We were alone and she 
took advantage of the occasion to tell me the story 
of the origin of the masterpieces which the gallery 
contained. This fine picture had been presented to 
her by the Pope; two others had been given her by 
Canova; the city of Milan had offered her this 
picture and that. Having a great admiration for the 
conqueror of Marengo, I should have esteemed Mme. 
Bonaparte more highly if she had told me that all 
these masterpieces had been conquered at the point 
of his sword. The good woman was naturally a liar. 
Even when the simple truth would have been more 
interesting and more piquant than a lie, she would 
have preferred to lie. 

Mme. de Stae'l had given up her house. Her husband 
had returned to Sweden, where he died two years 


later. After having settled in a small apartment, she 
was preparing to go to join her father at Coppet. 
Bonaparte could not endure her, although she tried 
in every way to please him. I think that she never 
went to see Mme. Bonaparte. One day, however, I 
met Josephine Bonaparte in her salon. She received 
people of all the regimes. The emigres, returned to 
France, mingled at her house with the former partisans 
of the Directory. 




Sale of the Paris House. Departure for Le Bouilh. Life 
There. Education of Mile, de Lally. Establishment of 
the Empire. Birth of Aymar. Marriage of Mile, de 
Lally and Henri d'Aux. 

FINALLY about the month of September, we 
decided to leave for Le Bouilh. About three 
years before we had sold our house in Paris 
at a very low price. It was situated in a bad quarter, 
the Rue du Bac. I no longer remember the disposition 
which my husband made of the proceeds of this sale. 
On his return he found the affairs of his father, as 
well as his own, in such great disorder, and he was 
so unfortunate in everything he undertook, that in 
spite of his intelligence and his capacity, he did not 
seem to succeed in anything. My husband set out 
alone for Tesson, and I engaged a driver who took 
me home by short journeys in a large carriage which 
held besides myself, my son, my two daughters, the 
instructor, Monsieur de Calonne, and my maid, 

We finally arrived at Le Bouilh where I was happy 
to be once more. I had great need of repose. An 
excellent girl whom I had left there had taken care 
of everything in good shape. My husband arrived a 


few days later, and we finally found ourselves all 
reunited in our home. 

My husband devoted himself to agriculture and 
the education of his son, in which I assisted in order 
that he should not forget his English. Humbert was 
then ten and a half years of age, while Charlotte 
was four and Cecile six months. My excellent 
maid, Marguerite, devoted herself with as much 
attention and tenderness to the dear children as I 
did myself. 

A short time after our arrival at Le Bouilh, a 
cousin of my husband, Mme. de Maurville, came to 
stay with us. She had lost all the property which 
she possessed in France and her principal resource 
was a pension of forty pounds sterling, paid to her by 
the English government. This had been given her 
as the widow of a general officer of the French 
Marine, who had taken service with England, a 
thing which I may say in passing was very villainous. 
Mme. de Maurville was very fond of Monsieur de 
La Tour du Pin. She was four years older than he 
and had known him since his childhood. She was 
very happy to be with us. 

Mme. d'Henin came to Le Bouilh on several oc- 
casions during the eight years we resided there. At 
the time of her first visit, which lasted several months, 
she brought Elisa, the daughter of Monsieur de 
Lally, who had just left the school of Mme. Campan. 
I was asked to undertake finishing her education. 
Mile, de Lally at that time was fifteen years of age, 
and I received her with pleasure. She was a sweet, 


good child, quite well grounded in orthography, 
music and dancing, while the cultivation of her mind 
had been almost completely neglected. I looked at 
the mission which had been confided to me as a 
heavy charge and a great responsibility to take. 
Nevertheless, my husband urged me to accept and 
his wish for me was a law against which the thought 
of resisting never occurred to me. As we were not in 
a state of fortune easily to increase our expenses, my 
aunt arranged that Monsieur de Lally should pay 
us, as pension for his daughter, a sum equivalent to 
that which he had paid for her with Mme. Campan. 
To accept such a condition seemed to me a backward 
step on our part, nevertheless, we submitted. Besides 
this, Monsieur de Lally undertook the charge of pay- 
ing the personal expenses of his daughter. Elisa had 
no ground to complain of these arrangements, and 
I am able to say that we also had no reason to regret 
them. In assuming the education of Mile, de Lally, 
I was only doing what it was necessary for me to 
undertake later on with my own daughters. My hus- 
band, for his part, undertook to t^ach her history 
and geography. I took charge of the English lessons, 
and the instructor of my son gave her lessons in 
Italian. Our reading aloud was also of benefit to her. 
She was very fond of my children, especially of 
Cecile whose first education she began. 

We were preoccupied, my husband and I, with the 
future of our children, and this was not the least of 
the disquietudes which the bad state of our affairs 
caused us. The estate of Le Bouilh, reduced to its 
bare land value, represented very little. The war with 



England had reduced the price of wines to almost 
nothing, especially white wines, already at this 
time of little value in our part of the country. This 
wine could then be bought at from four to five 
francs a barrel. My husband installed an equip- 
ment for making eau-de-vie and went to quite heavy 
expense to put this apparatus in working order. 
But the profits from this commerce permitted us 
at least to live. Soon it was necessary for us to 
think of the future of our son, which was our prin- 
cipal concern. 

My aunt and Monsieur de Lally wrote us from 
Paris that all the persons whom we had formerly 
known had rallied to the government. The Concordat 
had just been published and the reestablishment of 
religion had a prodigious effect in the provinces. 
Until this moment, divine services were only held in 
private rooms, if not entirely in secret, and the 
priests were almost always returned emigres. There 
was therefore universal joy when Monsieur d'Aviau 
de Sanzai, a man highly esteemed, was appointed 
Archbishop at Bordeaux. We had the honor of enter- 
taining him at Le Bouilh during the first two days 
which followed his taking possession of the diocese. 
We brought together to receive him all the good 
cures of our former estate which comprised nineteen 
parishes. The greater part, recently appointed, had 
returned from foreign countries. Others had been 
concealed with their parishioners or in private 
houses. Our Archbishop was adored by all and his 
entry into Bordeaux was a triumph. The gratitude 
which all felt went out to the great man who held 


1763 - 1814 


the reins of government. When he proclaimed himself 
Consul for Life, this gratitude was shown by the 
almost unanimous approbation of those who were 
called upon to vote upon this proposition. 

A little later there appeared in the communes the 
lists upon which it was necessary for the voters to 
inscribe their names and respond by "yes" or "no" 
to the question as to whether the Consul for Life 
should be proclaimed Emperor. 

Monsieur de La Tour du Pin was in a state of great 
indecision before he decided to write "yes" upon the 
list at Saint-Andre-de-Cubzac. I saw him walk up 
and down alone in the garden, but I did not try to 
penetrate his thoughts. Finally one evening he entered 
and I learned with pleasure that he had just written 
"yes" as a result of his reflections. 

In 1805, I went with Elisa de Lally to pass some 
time at Bordeaux. One day at mass Elisa was ob- 
served by a young man, the most distinguished in 
Bordeaux, by birth, face and fortune: Monsieur 
Henri d'Aux. Elisa was very small, but she had a 
superb head of black hair, very brilliant color, the 
freshness of a rose and the handsomest eyes in the 
world. Our friend Brouquens, after the loss of his 
fortune caused by the failure of his company which 
furnished provisions for the army, had returned to 
take up his residence at Bordeaux for an indefinite 
time. He learned through* friends that Monsieur 
Henri d'Aux had spoken in terms of eulogy to certain 
of his comrades of the young lady who was being 
brought up by Mme. de La Tour du Pin, and had 

[321 ] 


declared that none of the young ladies of Bordeaux 
had so pleasant and agreeable a manner. He asked 
for information regarding us, our manner of life and 
so on. 

My husband who had been named President of 
the Canton, without having solicited the office, had 
gone to Paris for the coronation. I wrote him of the 
gossip which had been reported to me and he spoke 
of it to Monsieur de Lally. The latter was then taken 
up with the endeavor to secure the repayment of 
quite a large sum of money which the State owed 
him since the rehabilitation of his father and the 
cancellation of his death penalty, that is to say, 
since three years before the Revolution. This in- 
debtedness of the State had been recognized as valid 
by the Council of State, but the sum having 
been reduced two thirds, like all the Funds, did not 
amount to more than 100,000 francs. Napoleon, who 
desired to rally Monsieur de Lally to his government, 
wished that the reclamation should be entirely 
successful. When my husband spoke to Monsieur 
de Lally of the contents of my letter, he declared 
without hesitation that if he received this sum he 
would give it to his daughter the day of her marriage. 
You will see how he kept his word. We arranged to 
go to Bordeaux for the Carnival season in order to 
give Monsieur d'Aux the chance of seeing Elisa at 
the balls which were given in the salons of the 
former Intendance. 

About this time I had the great sorrow of losing 
our dear maid, Marguerite, whom I loved as a 
mother. This caused me very sincere grief. 



My husband had seen at Paris several persons of 
his acquaintance, all of whom had entered the service 
of the government, among them, Monsieur Maret, 
afterwards Due de Bassano. They urged him to 
attempt to obtain some employment. Without ex- 
actly refusing, he replied that if the Emperor wished 
to have his services, he well knew where he could 
find him and that the role of solicitor did not please 
him. Monsieur de Talleyrand could not comprehend 
reluctance of this kind, but he felt, nevertheless, in 
his mind rather than his heart, that there was a sort 
of distinction in not mingling with the crowd of 
solicitors. He only said, shrugging his shoulders: 
"Cela viendra," and then he thought no more about 

My husband returned to Le Bouilh. He had seen 
Monsieur Malouet who had just been named Prefet 
Maritime at Antwerp, in charge of the large ship- 
yards there to which he gave so tremendous an 
impetus. These gentlemen had come to an under- 
standing that when Humbert was seventeen years 
of age he should receive a position in the office of 
Monsieur Malouet. The Institution des Auditeurs of 
the Council of State was not then in existence. They 
had commenced, however, to talk of it, and we were 
of the opinion that it would be useful for a young 
man who was destined for business to work for a 
time under the eyes of a man as keen and as compe- 
tent as Monsieur Malouet. As he had much friend- 
ship for us, we could intrust our son to him with 
entire confidence. The thought of this separation, 
nevertheless, weighed heavily on my heart. 



The eighteenth of October, 1806, as I was dressing 
in the morning, I saw passing on the terrace our 
good doctor Dupouy, who had been at Le Bouilh for 
several days. I asked him laughingly where he had 
come from so early in the morning. He replied that 
he had just been to report the death of one of our 
neighbors who had passed away suddenly in getting 
up that morning. I knew this person very well and 
had had a long talk with her only the evening before. 
This event upset me to such a degree that that very 
morning I gave birth to my youngest son, Aymar, the 
only one of my children who is living at this writing. 

In the meantime, we had not lost sight of the im- 
portant affair of the marriage of Elisa. Under pretext 
of having our baby vaccinated, we went, about 
Christmas time, to pass six weeks at Bordeaux with 
our excellent friend Brouquens. He had succeeded in 
winning to our side Monsieur de Marbotin de 
Couteneuil, former Counsellor of Parlement, the 
uncle of Monsieur d'Aux. His wife having been the 
sister of the mother of Monsieur d'Aux, this young 
man, after the death of his mother, which happened 
a long time before, felt towards his aunt a real filial 
affection. Monsieur de Couteneuil desired to reenter 
the Judicature, and Monsieur de Lally was under- 
stood to have good standing with the government. 
This was another reason which led Monsieur de 
Couteneuil to favor the marriage of his nephew. 
Besides this, pride apart, we enjoyed such considera- 
tion at Bordeaux that a person admitted into our 
family life would have a certain standing. 

The young people met at several balls. They also 



met on the street and at church, where we were 
always sure to see Monsieur d'Aux. Finally, one 
day, Mme. de Couteneuil presented herself officially 
at my house to ask for the hand of the young lady 
for her nephew. As a good old diplomatist, I replied 
that I was ignorant of the plans of Monsieur de 
I/ally for his daughter, but that Monsieur de La 
Tour du Pin would go to see him at Le Bouilh where 
he was at the moment and present the proposition 
to him. 

My husband went there as arranged and returned 
the following day with Monsieur de Lally. All was 
soon arranged. Then followed the congratulations, 
the dinners, the evening entertainments. We received 
a call from the aged father of Monsieur d'Aux. He 
was a gentleman of the olden days, without the 
least vestige of intelligence or instruction. It was 
said that he had bored his wife to death. This did 
not prevent him, however, from possessing more than 
60,000 francs of income. 

The day of the signature of the contract, Monsieur 
de Lally counted out for Monsieur d'Aux, as he had 
agreed, 100 bags of 1000 francs, representing the 
dot of his daughter. It was the only time in my life 
that I ever saw so much money at one time. 

The marriage took place at Le Bouilh the first of 
April, 1807. At this season there were no flowers 
except little pink and white marguerites. Mme. de 
Maurville, Charlotte and I constructed a charming 
epergne for the dinner, the bottom of which was of 
moss with the names of Henri and Elisa written in 



All these preliminaries and the marriage itself had 
very much upset me and taken me out of my tranquil 
and regular habits. I was, therefore, very glad to 
return home to enjoy the last months which my son 
was to pass with us. My aunt and Monsieur de Lally 
returned to Paris, and I remained alone with Mme. 
de Maurville. 




Humbert Leaves for Antwerp. Grief over the Separation. 
Visit of the Emperor to Bordeaux. His Passage of the 
River at Cubzac. Mme. de La Tour du Pin Summoned to 
Bordeaux. The Court Assembly. Presentation to the 
Emperor. The Salon of the Empress. Her Entourage. 
Strict Rules for Her Days Dictated by the Emperor. 
Anxiety of Josephine over the Rumors of her Divorce. 
A Note from the Emperor. Departure of the Empress. 
Return to Le Bouilh. Monsieur de La Tour du Pin Ap- 
pointed Prefet at Brussels. Mme. de La Tour du Pin 
Dame d'Honneur of the Queen of Spain. Presentation to 
the Queen. The Prince de La Paix. Departure of the 
Spanish Sovereigns. 

TOWARDS the end of the summer, or to 
speak in agricultural terms immediately 
after the harvest of the grapes (vendanges), 
it was necessary for me to be separated for the first 
time from my dear son Humbert. He set out with 
his father who accompanied him as far as Paris. 

Bordeaux was very much taken up with the affairs 
of Spain, and several refugees from that country had 
already arrived there. My aunt wrote us from Paris 
that the Emperor was to go to Spain, accompanied 
perhaps by the Empress Josephine, and that Mon- 
sieur de Bassano would form part of his suite. She 



advised her nephew to pay his court to the Emperor 
and to see Monsieur de Bassano, who was interested 
in him. My husband received this letter at the mo- 
ment when he was setting out on horseback for 
Tesson. A matter of business absolutely claimed his 
presence there. In leaving he said that he would be 
gone only two days and that he had plenty of time 
to go and return. The very next day the order was 
received at the posting station to prepare horses 
for the Emperor. This news filled me with despair, 
but I was none the less anxious to see this extraor- 
dinary man. 

Mme. de Maurville, my daughter Charlotte and I 
went to Cubzac resolved not to return before we had 
seen Napoleon. We demanded hospitality from Ribet, 
the Grand Commissionnaire de Transport who knew 
us and who installed us in a room looking out on the 
port. The brigantine destined for the passage of the 
Dordogne was already there with the sailors at their 
posts. The whole population of the country lined 
the road; the peasants, while cursing the man who 
took their children to send them away to war, wished 
to see him nevertheless. A first courier arrived. 
People tried to question him. General Drouet d'Erlon, 
the Commander of the Department, asked him when 
the Emperor would arrive. The man was so fatigued 
that the only response they could get from him was 
the word: "Passons." His horse was saddled, he 
accompanied it on the boat, then fell at the bottom 
of the boat like a dead man and it was necessary to 
rouse him and put him on his horse at the other side 
of the river. After the passage of the courier, our im- 



patience was very great. As for myself, I was taken 
up with the fatality which kept my husband far 
from the place where his functions demanded his 
presence. The municipality of Cubzac was present, 
and he, the President of the Canton, whose place was 
there, was absent. It was an occasion lost which 
might not return. I felt very much put out. Finally, 
after a wait which lasted the entire day, towards 
evening, a first carriage arrived and a little later 
a berline with eight horses escorted by a picket of 
cavalry stopped under the window where we were. 
The Emperor descended, dressed in the uniform of 
chasseur de la garde. Two chamberlains, one of 
whom was Monsieur de Barral, and an aide de camp 
accompanied him. The Mayor paid his compliments. 
The Emperor listened with an air of great boredom, 
then entered the brigantine which immediately set 
out. This was all we saw of the great man. We re- 
turned to Le Bouilh, all three of us, tired out and 
in bad humor. 

The next day my husband arrived. I gave him 
only time to eat his breakfast and then forced him 
to set out for Bordeaux, where the Empress was ex- 
pected the next day. Immediately on his arrival, he 
went to see Monsieur Maret, who professed for him 
much friendship and interest. He found him kind 
and obliging, but what was his astonishment when 
Monsieur de Maret said to him: 

"You have felt much annoyance over the necessity 
of going to Tesson, exactly at the time that the 
Emperor was passing your home, and you have 
shown great diligence in returning/' 



"You have then seen Brouquens," replied Mon- 
sieur de La Tour du Pin. 


" But, then how do you know all that ? " 

"The Emperor told me." 

You can imagine how much my husband was 

"Mme. de La Tour du Pin should come to Bor- 
deaux," added Monsieur Maret. "She should remain 
here during the time of the sojourn of the Empress. 
There will be an Assembly tomorrow and the Emperor 
wishes that she should be present." 

My husband immediately sent a carriage for me, 
for it was not a time to hesitate. I had several dresses 
at Bordeaux, made at the time that I was taking 
Elisa to the balls and evening entertainments given 
at the time of her marriage, but among these there 
was no black dress, and the Court was in mourning. 
The Assembly was for eight o'clock, and it was al- 
ready five. Fortunately, I had a pretty robe of gray 
satin. I added several dark ornaments, the good 
coiffeur arranged some black ribbons in my hair, 
and this seemed to me very appropriate for a woman 
of thirty-eight, who can say, without vanity, that 
she did not have the air of being more than thirty. 
The reunion was in the large salle d manger of the 
palace. I knew very few persons at Bordeaux. Sixty 
or eighty ladies were present. We were arranged 
according to a list read aloud by the chamberlain, 
Monsieur de Beam. He enjoined us that no one was 
to leave her place under any pretext, as otherwise 
it would be impossible for him to find the name to 

[ 330] 


give to each person. This sort of military manoeuvre 
had hardly been arranged when a loud voice an- 
nounced: "L'Empereur!" which caused my heart to 
beat. He began at the end of the line and addressed 
a word to each lady. As he approached the place 
where I was standing, the chamberlain said a word 
in his ear. He fixed his eyes on me, smiling graciously, 
and when my turn came he said to me laughing, in 
a familiar tone, while he regarded me from head to 

"Why, you are not then afflicted over the death 
of the King of Denmark?" 

"Not sufficiently, Sire," I replied, "to sacrifice the 
pleasure of being presented to your Majesty. I had 
no black dress." 

"Oh, that is an excellent reason." And then he 
added: "You were in the country!" 

Speaking then to the lady beside me, he said: 
"Your name, Madame?" She stammered and he did 
not comprehend. 

"Montesquieu," I said. 

"Ah, really, that is a fine name to have. I went 
this morning to La Brede to see the cabinet of 

The poor woman replied, thinking that she had 
found a fine inspiration: 

"C'est un bon citoyen." 

This word "citoyen" displeased the Emperor. He 
gave Mme. de Montesquieu, with his eagle eyes, a 
look which would have terrified her if she had under- 
stood, and replied very brusquely: 

"Mais non, c'etait un grand homme," and then 


shrugging his shoulders he looked at me, as if to say: 
"Que cette femme est bete!" 

The Empress followed at some distance behind the 
Emperor and the ladies were named to her in the 
same order. But before she arrived at my place, a 
valet de chambre came to request me to go to the 
salon to await Her Majesty. When the Empress 
entered the salon, she showed herself very amiable 
for me and for my husband, whom she had also 
summoned. She expressed the desire to see me every 
evening during her sojourn at Bordeaux, and then 
began to play backgammon with Monsieur de La 
Tour du Pin. They served tea and ices. I was still in 
hopes of seeing the Emperor again, and my disap- 
pointment was great when I learned that upon the 
arrival of a courier from Bayonne, he had immediately 
left Bordeaux to go there. 

The Emperor, having all Spain and all Europe on 
his hands, to use the common expression, had never- 
theless the time to dictate the order of the day of the 
Empress, in the most minute detail, even to the 
toilettes which she was to wear. She would neither 
have wished nor dared to change this in the slightest 
particular, unless she was sick in bed. I learned from 
Mme. Maret that the Emperor had ordered that we 
should come, my husband and I, every day to pass 
the evening, which we did. 

However, the poor Empress was beginning to be 
cruelly disturbed over the rumors of divorce which 
were already being circulated. She spoke of it to 
Monsieur de La Tour du Pin, who reassured her as 
well as possible. He endeavored to stop the confi- 



dences which the imprudent and light-headed Jo- 
sephine seemed disposed to make to him, and which 
it seemed to him indiscreet to hear. She was much 
turned against Monsieur "de Talleyrand, whom she 
accused of urging the Emperor to obtain a divorce. 
No one was better aware of this fact than my husband, 
for he had talked the matter over with him during 
the trip he made to Paris, but he took care not to let 
Josephine know this. Accustomed to the adulation 
of some, the deception of others, she found great 
relief in talking with my husband and opened her 
heart to him on a subject which she had not dared to 
broach to any persons of her entourage. She was very 
desirous of leaving for Bayonne and demanded every 
day of Ordener :" When do we go?" to which he replied 
with his German accent : "Indeed, I do not yet know." 

One evening I was seated beside the Empress at 
the tea table when she received a note of several lines 
from the Emperor. Leaning towards me she said very- 
low: "He writes like a cat. I cannot read this last 
phrase." At the same time she handed me the note, 
while putting her finger upon her lips as a sign of 
mystery. I had only the time to read several "thous" 
and "thees"; then the last phrase thus worded: "I 
have here the father and the son. This gives me much 
embarrassment." Since then this note has been quoted 
in a dispatch, but much amplified. There were only 
five or six lines written across a sheet of paper which 
had been torn and folded in two. If it were shown to 
me I should recognize it. 

After tea, General Ordener approached the Empress 
and said to her: "Your Majesty will leave tomorrow 



at mid-day." At this decision, every one rejoiced. The 
sojourn at Bordeaux had been a cause of expense for 
me, as it had been necessary, during the ten days, 
to be in full-dress every evening. I was crazy to 
return to my children. Elisa, on account of her baby, 
was not able to come to see the Empress, to her great 
regret. She had been present only at the Assembly 
where she received a very flattering reception. Her 
husband had entered the mounted Guard of Honor 
which was composed of all the most distinguished 
young men of Bordeaux. 

We returned accordingly to Le Bouilh, and not- 
withstanding the fine reception from the distinguished 
personages whom we had seen at Bordeaux, we enter- 
tained only small hopes for the future. How could I 
believe indeed that a man averse to all intrigue, 
unknown, so to speak, to those in power, since he 
had not mingled in any of the events for the past 
few years, living retired at his chateau, in a retreat 
all the more profound, because he was almost without 
fortune, how could I suppose, I say, that he should 
have attracted the eye of the eagle who was the 
master of the destinies of France ! My husband had 
remained at Bordeaux to finish some business, and I 
was seated beside my lamp, talking with my poor 
cousin, Mme. Joseph de La Tour du Pin, whom we 
had received at our house through kindness. At this 
moment, as nine o'clock was striking, a peasant sent 
expressly from Bordeaux arrived with a note from 
my husband in which were written only these words : 
"I am Prefect of Brussels, of Brussels only ten leagues 
from Antwerp!" 



I admit that I experienced a great joy in which the 
thought of again seeing my son touched me above all. 

Monsieur Maret was ignorant of the vacancy in 
this prefecture. The papers of the Minister of the 
Interior arrived at Bayonne, exactly as if he had 
been present at the Tuileries or at Saint-Cloud, for 
nothing was allowed to change the habits of the 
Emperor. He was upsetting the Spanish monarchy 
and sending to prison or into exile the two Kings, 
father and son. This gave him "much embarrass- 
ment," as I had read written in his own hand, but 
in spite of that, when the work of the Minister ar- 
rived, he read, rectified and changed the nominations. 
Prefecture de La Dyle: a name is proposed for this 
post. He takes his pen, erases it, and writes above it 
La Tour du Pin. That is what we learned later from 
Monsieur Maret, who never raised any objection, 
but who also never made any proposition. He was a 
very useful machine. 

My son was at Antwerp, seated at his desk as 
secretary to Monsieur Malouet, when he saw the 
latter running across the court. Never had any one 
seen Monsieur Malouet, the most dignified of men, 
hasten his pace for any reason whatsoever. On enter- 
ing he cried: "Your father is Prefet of Brussels!" 
Dear Humbert, how great was his joy! 

Several days before the departure of my husband 
from Le Bouilh to go to Brussels, I received a courier, 
in great haste, from our friend Brouquens, who an- 
nounced that he had sent a carriage to Cubzac. He 
informed me at the same time that King Charles IV 
of Spain and his unworthy wife were to arrive at 



Bordeaux at the Palace and that the Emperor had 
given orders that I should serve as Lady of Honor 
to the Queen during her sojourn at Bordeaux, which 
would be for two or three days. Fortunately, all my 
ceremonial costumes were still with Monsieur de 
Brouquens. My packing was therefore soon finished. 
My husband accompanied me and we set out. Arrived 
at Bordeaux, I dressed hastily and went to the Palace 
where Their Spanish Majesties had just arrived. On 
entering the salon I found some gentlemen of my 
acquaintance who cried: "Come at once, we are 
awaiting you for dinner!" This was very agreeable 
to me for I had taken only a cup of tea before leaving. 

The King and Queen had retired to their own apart- 
ment with the Prince de la Paix. I met Monsieur 
d'Audenarde and Monsieur Dumanoir, the one 
ecuyer, the other chamberlain of the Emperor, a few 
others, and two or three Spaniards whose names I 
did not know and who did not speak French. We 
immediately sat down to dinner. These gentlemen 
told me that two other Ladies of Honor had been 
named, one of whom was Elisa d'Aux, and I was 
charged to notify them to be at the Palace the next 
day at mid-day. The next day at eleven o'clock, I 
went to the Palace, and Monsieur Dumanoir re- 
quested to enter the Queen's apartment to present 
me. Turning to me before opening the door, he said : 
"Don't laugh!" This of course gave me a desire to, 
and, in truth, there was sufficient reason. There I 
saw the most surprising and unexpected spectacle. 

La reine d'Espagne se tenait au milieu de la 
chambre devant une grande psyche. On la la^ait. Elle 



avait pour tout vetement une petite jupe de percale 
tres etroite et tres courte, et sur la poitrine (la plus 
seche, la plus decharnee, la plus noire que Ton put 
voir) un mouchoir de gaze. Sur ses cheveux gris etait 
disposee, en guise de coiffure, une guirlande de roses 
rouges et jaunes. Le reine s'avanca vers moi, la 
femme de chambre la la^ant toujours, en operant ces 
mouvements de corps que Ton fait quand on veut, 
en termes de toilette, se retirer de son corset. 

Near her was the King, and several other men 
whom I did not know. The Queen demanded of 
Monsieur Dumanoir: 

"Who is that lady?" 

He told her. 

"What is her name?" she said. 

He repeated it, and the Queen addressed several 
words in Spanish to the King who replied by saying 
that I was, or that my name was, very noble. Then 
the Queen finished her toilette while relating that 
the Empress had given her several of her dresses, as 
she had brought none from Madrid. This degree of 
degradation gave me a very painful impression. The 
Sovereign indeed was wearing a gown of yellow crepe, 
lined with satin of the same shade, which I re- 
membered having seen the Empress wear. All desire 
to laugh had left me; I was more inclined to weep. 

When the Queen was dressed, she dismissed me. I 
went to the salon where I found Elisa and together 
we awaited the arrival of the authorities, whom I 
was to present to Her Majesty. At this moment a 
fat man with a black plaster upon his forehead passed 
through the salon. I recognized him /or the famous 



Prince de la Paix. He passed impolitely before us 
without saluting and we both agreed that neither 
his face nor his figure justified the favors which the 
scandalous chronicles attributed to him. 

The salons were then filled and the Queen was 
notified. I presented to her, one by one, the chiefs 
of the Administration, commencing with the Arch- 
bishop, to whom alone she addressed a word. Mon- 
sieur Dumanoir did the same for the King who 
showed himself more gracious. 

The following day I made a visit of a quarter of 
an hour in the morning, and there was the usual 
entertainment in the evening. The day after, to my 
great joy, I learned of the early departure of the 
members of the Royal Family of Spain. The Prefet 
and the Archbishop came to bid them adieu. Then 
we entered a carriage to go to the passage of the 
river, for at this time there was no bridge. We found 
there the brigantine all ready, and, the crossing 
effectuated, I took leave of these unhappy sovereigns. 
The unfortunate King did not have the air for a 
single instant of comprehending the sadness of his 
situation. His attitude was completely lacking in 
dignity and seriousness. During the passage of the 
river he had talked all the time with my servant, 
who was on the deck. He was a good German, who 
could hardly believe that he had talked with the 
King. He said to me afterwards: "Mais, Madame, 
il n'a done pas de chagrin!" 

Such is the history of my brief functions at the 
Court of King Charles IV and of the Queen, his 
horrible wife. 




Commencement of a New Life. Judicious Choice of Monsieur 
de La Tour du Pin for the Prefecture. Departure from 
Le Bouilh. Mile. Fanny Dillon and the Prince Pignatelli. 

Project of her Marriage with General Bertrand. A 
Delicate Mission to the Empress Josephine. Wives of 
the Officers at Brussels. The Dowager Duchesse d'Aren- 
berg. Her Suppers. Her Reception of Monsieur and 
Mme. de La Tour du Pin. A Study of Brussels Society. 
Organization of the House. Napoleon Obtains Consent 
of Mile. Fanny Dillon to Marry General Bertrand. Eight 
Days for the Marriage. Meeting with General Bertrand. 

Details of the Marriage Arranged by the Emperor. 
Mme. de La Tour du Pin Received by the Emperor at 
Saint-Cloud. Signature of the Contract. Marriage at 
Saint-Leu. The Emeralds of Queen Hortense. 


was the commencement of a new life. I 
was to leave my garden, my chickens, my 
cows, my flowers, my regular and tranquil 
occupations which suited my taste, to lead an en- 
tirely different existence. But Providence had given 
me the desire to endeavor always to make the best 
of any situation in which I found myself. It was 
about nine o'clock in the evening, as I have said, 
when I received, by messenger, the note from my 
husband announcing his nomination as Prefect at 
Brussels. When he arrived the following morning for 



breakfast he found me already prepared to discuss 
the change in our existence and the arrangements 
and plans which I thought we should make in 

Charlotte was then over eleven years of age. Very 
advanced for her age, she had a great desire to be 
informed on all subjects. She had immediately begun 
to study all the geographical dictionaries regarding 
Belgium, to examine the maps of the country, and 
when her father, who knew her well, arrived and 
questioned her regarding the department of the Dyle, 
she already knew all the statistics. As for little Cecile, 
who was already a good musician, at eight years of age, 
and also a good Italian scholar, her first question was 
whether she would have a music teacher at Brussels. 

My husband immediately made all the necessary 
arrangements at Le Bouilh, but unfortunately con- 
fided his affairs to a man in whom he believed he 
could have entire confidence. To me he left the care 
of closing the house and the packing. 

Monsieur de La Tour du Pin had received an 
order to report at Paris without delay, as Monsieur 
de Chaban, his predecessor, had already left Brussels 
to go to organize the department of Tuscany, which 
had just been united to the Empire. Our friend, 
Brouquens, happier even than my husband himself 
over his good fortune, came to pass several days with 
us, and they left for Paris together. 

The news of this nomination had surprised all 
those who for a long time had solicited favors with- 
out obtaining them. Nobody was willing to believe 
that the Government had come to look for Monsieur 



de La Tour du Pin at his plow, like Cincinnatus, in 
order to give him the finest prefecture in France. 

This choice was, however, the most judicious that 
the wonderful foresight of Napoleon could have made, 
and for the following reason: Brussels was a conquered 
capital and no effort had yet been made to attach it 
to France. The seat of the Court and of high society, 
it had been governed up to the present time only by 
obscure and worthless representatives. 

Monsieur de Pontecoulant, the first Prefet, was 
assuredly a man of birth and aristocratic leanings, a 
former officer of the French Guards. His youth had 
been passed at Versailles and at Paris and he would 
perhaps have succeeded at Brussels except for his 
wife, of whom I have already spoken. It was under- 
stood that she had saved his life during the Terror. 
Formerly she had been the mistress of Mirabeau, of 
whom Lejai, her first husband, was the librarian. It 
was said that she had been pretty, but if so she did 
not retain the slightest vestige of beauty. After her 
marriage with Monsieur de Pontecoulant, she had 
been frequently seen in the salon of Barras and this 
did not exactly constitute a recommendation. Taken 
to Brussels by her husband, her antecedents had not 
been very attractive to the high and aristocratic 
society which formerly constituted the Court of the 

Surrounded by French intriguers who had fallen 
upon Belgium as upon a prey, Monsieur de Ponte- 
coulant did not give much time to the cares of the 
administration. The Emperor had recalled him, at 
the same time nominating him for the Senate, and 



had sent Monsieur de Chaban to replace him. The 
latter, who was an honest and enlightened man, a 
firm and excellent administrator, had reformed many 
abuses, punished breaches of trust and dismissed the 
culpable parties. All his acts had been just and en- 
lightened. It was only necessary for him to follow 
out this course to administer the country well, but 
he had not succeeded in overcoming the aloofness 
which the upper classes felt for the French govern- 
ment. This task was encumbent upon my husband, 
and I dare say upon me, also, as the source of all 
influence is found in the salon. 

It is true that Monsieur de Chaban was married, 
but his wife who was sickly, insignificant and of 
obscure origin, never received, and consequently no- 
body had ever seen her. 

I had been preceded at Brussels by a kind of 
romantic reputation which I owed to my adventures 
in America. 

After having made all my arrangements at Le 
Bouilh and sent off by the wagon everything which 
we thought would be useful to us at Brussels, to 
diminish the very great expense of our establishment 
in a large mansion, I set out by post with Mme. de 
Maurville, my daughters and my little son. A friend 
at Bordeaux, Monsieur Meyer, lent me a carriage 
which I sold for him at Brussels. En route I passed 
three or four weeks at Paris with my aunt, who was 
then living with Monsieur de Lally in a fine house, 
in the Rue de Miromesnil which she has since sold. 

Mme. Dillon had returned from England some 



time before. I went to see her, for she had received 
my husband very cordially when he visited Paris 
with Humbert the preceding year. My sister Fanny 
had grown up. She was then twenty-three years of 
age and without being pretty had a very distinguished 
air. Several suitors had already presented themselves 
for her hand, but the one whom she would have 
preferred among them all and would have married 
was no longer living. This was Prince Alphonse 
Pignatelli who had died of a malady of the chest. 
Before his death he had wished to marry Fanny so 
as to be able to leave her his fortune, but she had 
refused. As the days of the unfortunate man were 
numbered, she thought that it would have shown a 
lack of consideration on her part towards the family 
of Monsieur Pignatelli, if she had married him at 
the last moment, although she loved him dearly and 
would have been happy, even in losing him, to bear 
his name. I also was grieved, for I should have 
preferred to have my sister called Pignatelli rather 
than Bert rand. 

Since this common name has come from my pen, 
this is the place to relate what had passed at the 
time of the last trip of my husband to Paris. 

The Emperor had repeatedly informed the Empress 
and Fanny herself of his wish that she should marry 
General Bertrand, his aide de camp, who was later 
Grand Marechal of the Palace, who had been in love 
with her for a long time. My sister was not willing 
to consent, and the Emperor was much put out. 
When he learned of her preference for Alphonse 
Pignatelli, however, he dropped the matter, but after 



the death of the Prince he took the affair up again. 
My husband was at Paris just at the moment when 
Mme. Dillon had promised a definite answer, and 
she requested him to see the Empress and notify her 
of the formal refusal of my sister. The commission 
was quite a delicate one, nevertheless he undertook 
it. The Empress received him in her bed-room where 
the deep alcove was closed during the day by a thick 
drapery of heavy material which formed a kind of 
wall of embroidered damask with a deep border of 
golden fringe. She asked him to sit down beside her 
on a couch which was placed against the curtain. 
As they were en tete a tete, Monsieur de La Tour du 
Pin without any circumlocution acquitted himself to 
the Empress of the commission with which he had 
been charged, while at the same time excusing him- 
self for having brought a decision contrary to the 
wishes of the Emperor. As the Empress continued to 
insist, in the course of the conversation, which was 
quite long, he gave expression to very aristocratic 
sentiments which were not unpleasant. Finally, after 
having spoken to him of himself, of me, of our chil- 
dren, of his fortune, of his plans, the Empress dis- 
missed him. My husband then went to make his 
report to Mme. Dillon regarding the interview which 
he had just had. That same evening he called on 
Monsieur de Talleyrand, who took him by the arm, 
as he was in the habit of doing when he wished to 
talk informally with him in a corner. 

"What possessed you," he said, "to refuse General 
Bertrand for your sister-in-law. Was that any of 
your affair?" 



"Why, Fanny wished it," replied Monsieur de La 
Tour du Pin, "and my age allows me to act for her 
as a father." 

"Well," said the cunning old fox, "fortunately you 
have not hurt your affair with all your aristocracy. 
They love that at the Tuileries now." 

"Who then told you that ?" demanded my husband. 
"Have you seen the Empress?" 

"Not at all," replied Talleyrand, "but I have seen 
the Emperor who was listening to you ! " 

It was perhaps this conversation overheard behind 
the curtain which made Monsieur de La Tour du Pin 
Prefet at Brussels. 

It would be difficult for me to tell, with exactitude, 
the story of my sojourn at Brussels. They were very 
fond of society there and they were much pleased to 
have at last a salon de Prefet held by a woman who 
belonged to the aristocratic class. There were two 
ladies residing at Brussels who were my superiors 
on account of the positions occupied by their hus- 
bands : the wife of the General, Commander of the 
Division which had its headquarters at Brussels, and 
the wife of the First President of the Imperial Court 
seated also at Brussels. 

The first, Mme. de Chambarlhac, had been a 
beautiful Savoyarde, Mile, de Coucy. She was the 
aunt of Monsieur de Coucy whom we have known 
since. It was said that she had been a religieuse or 
novice when her husband, during one of the campaigns 
in Italy, carried her off and married her. Although 
forty years of age, she was still quite pretty. Ac- 



customed to live with military men of every kind, 
she had acquired very common manners which, how- 
ever, were relieved by a certain aristocratic gloss. 
You can understand that I was neither able nor 
willing to associate with such a person. Her ante- 
cedents repelled me. I always pictured her to myself, 
attired in the costume of a hussar which she had 
worn, it was said, in order to follow her husband 
during several campaigns. As for General de Cham- 
barlhac, he was an imbecile who, from the very first 
day, took a hostile position regarding my husband 
on account of jealousy. 

The second woman was the wife of the First 
President, Monsieur Betz, a learned German with 
much intelligence and capacity. She belonged to the 
lowest class in the social scale. Although she was 
quite homely at the age of fifty years, she might 
nevertheless have been pretty in her youth. She was 
always coiffee, paree, decolletee like a young person. 
I received her at my house on State occasions, but 
I do not remember ever having entered her home, 
although I did not neglect to leave my card from 
time to time. 

The great jealousy of these two ladies was due to 
the fact that they were never invited to supper with 
the "Dowager." To be invited to these suppers was 
considered a mark of great distinction and formed the 
line of demarcation in the society of Brussels. 

The "Dowager" was the Duchesse d'Arenberg, 
nee Comtesse de La Marck and the last descendant 
of the "Boar of the Ardennes," Guillaume de La 
Marck, born about 1436, who was decapitated in 



1485. She represented, according to the words of the 
Archbishop of Malines, the ideal of the reine-mere. 
Living in retirement in the mansion assigned to the 
widows of the House of Arenberg, she maintained 
there a simple but noble style and invited every day 
to supper a certain number of persons of every age, 
both men and women. She always dined alone, went 
out in an open carriage in all kinds of weather, and 
saw, during the course of the day, her children, 
especially her blind son whom she tenderly loved. 
Every time that a slight indisposition, caused by the 
gout, prevented the latter from going out, she did 
not fail to go to see him. From seven to nine in the 
evening she received visits. After that hour, if any 
one called, the Swiss demanded if he had been in- 
vited to supper. If the response was negative, he 
was not admitted. At this hour the guests arrived, 
and such was the respect in which the Duchesse was 
held that no one in Brussels would have ventured 
to arrive at half past nine. At ten o'clock the Duchesse 
rang and ordered the supper served. 

After supper we played at lotto until midnight. 
When her son was present he had a game of whist 
or by preference a game of backgammon with Mon- 
sieur de La Tour du Pin, if he was there. These re- 
unions never comprised more than fifteen or eighteen 
guests chosen from the most distinguished persons of 
the city or from strangers of distinction. But the 
presence of strangers was rare, since France, at war 
with all Europe, could not be visited then as it has 
been since. 

I had often met the Duchesse d'Arenberg at Paris 



before the Revolution, at the Hotel de Beauvau, 
where I was received with great kindness. Besides 
this, I knew that Mme. de Poix and Mme. de Beauvau 
had written letters regarding me prior to my arrival 
at Brussels. The day following our arrival I went, 
therefore, accompanied by my husband, to see this 
distinguished lady. We were received with the great- 
est possible kindness and invited for supper on the 
following day. The Duchesse also expressed the wish 
that I should present to her my son, Humbert, who 
had come to Brussels to meet us. This was a token 
of the consideration with which we were to be 
treated. All the members of high society hastened 
to inscribe their names at our house or came to see 
us in person. I took very particular care to return 
all these visits without forgetting any one. I prepared 
a methodical list of all the persons who had come to 
call. After each name I made a note of all the par- 
ticulars which I had been able to gather as to the 
family, either in conversation or from the nobiliary 
records which I procured at the Burgundy Library 
which was, and is still, very rich in information of 
this kind. As assistants in this work, for the present 
time, I had Monsieur de Verseyden, Secretary 
General of the Prefecture of Wareck, and, for times 
past, an old Commander of Malta, who came to see 
me every evening. At the end of a month I was as 
familiar with the world of Brussels as if I had lived 
there all my life. I knew the liaisons of every kind, 
the animosities, the tracasseries and so on. 

Our establishment cost us a great deal of money. 
It seems to me that my husband received a certain 



sum to maintain the house, but I am not sure of this : 
The personnel of the service comprised two domestics 
and an employe of the Bureau, dressed in livery, a 
porter, a valet de chambre maitre d'hotel, the usher 
of the cabinet, who also waited the days of receptions, 
and two men in the stable. We occupied the Palace 
where the King of Holland has lived since. 

The Palace at that time comprised only the east 
wing of the present Royal Palace. The west wing 
was then occupied by the Hotel Bellevue. Between 
the two wings was the Rue Heraldique, which was 
closed in 1826 when the two wings were joined by the 
central colonnade. My private rooms, on the same 
floor with the State apartments, were pleasant and 
commodious. They comprised, in particular, a fine 
salon and a billiard room. From the very first I 
announced that I would never receive in the morning 
under any pretext whatsoever. The morning hours 
I devoted to the education of my daughters, helping 
them in their lessons and going out with them for 
promenades, either on foot or in a carriage. 

We soon became intimate with a number of 
persons. My husband met again with pleasure the 
Comte de Liedekerke, one of his old companions in 
arms before the Revolution in the Regiment of 
Royal-Comtois, of which Monsieur de La Tour du 
Pin had been the Colonel en Second. The Comte de 
Liedekerke had married Mile. Desandrouin, who 
was heiress to an immense fortune of which she 
already possessed a considerable part. They had only 
one son, Florent-Charles-Auguste, and two daughters. 
The young man, then twenty-two years of age, was 



auditeur of the Council of State. As there was talk 
of attaching one of these auditeurs to the person of 
each prefet, in order to give these young men an 
acquaintance with the administration, and with the 
idea of employing them as secretaries in the private 
cabinet of the prefet, Monsieur de Liedekerke re- 
quested Monsieur de La Tour du Pin, his former 
Colonel, to give his son such a post. 

Our son Humbert had left Antwerp, where Monsieur 
Malouet had been to him a second father, and returned 
to Brussels to take up the preparatory studies which 
were necessary for his examination for the Council of 
State which was to take place in several months. 

During the month of September, 1808, I received 
a letter from my step-mother, Mme. Dillon. She in- 
formed me that my sister had finally decided, after 
much hesitation and uncertainty, to marry General 
Bertrand. She had been overcome, in part by his 
constancy, and in part by the persistency of the 
Emperor to whom you could refuse nothing, as he 
used so much charm and fascination in obtaining 
what he desired. My sister at that time was extremely 
frivolous, with the frivolity of a Creole like her mother. 
Napoleon had desired that she should accompany 
the Empress Josephine to Fontainebleau, and in 
order to enable her to appear to advantage, he had 
sent her 30,000 francs to cover the expenses of her 
wardrobe during the week that the Court was to be 
there. At this time he finally succeeded in obtaining 
her assent to the proposed union which she had 
refused so obstinately. 



The Emperor decided that the marriage should 
take place at once, in spite of the objection raised by 
my sister that her mother had just lost her daughter, 
poor Mme. de Fitz-James. The Emperor, in face of 
these attempts at delay and judging that the two 
women if left to themselves would never come to a 
decision, said to Fanny: "Have your sister come. 
She will arrange everything. I am leaving for Erfurt 
in a week. The marriage must take place before then." 

I was advised by a letter from the Due de Bassano, 
for neither Mme. Dillon nor Fanny thought to write 
me. Although the letter was very pleasant, it had 
very much the air of an order, and the thought of 
refusing did not enter my mind. Two hours after I 
received it, I was on my way to Paris. 

At daybreak, I arrived at the house of Mme. 
d'Henin who was stupified on awakening to find me 
beside her bed. She always kept a room at our dis- 
posal in her pretty mansion of the Rue de Miromesnil 
where she then lived. I remained with my aunt only 
long enough to change my gown and to send for a 
carriage. Then, having taken a cup of tea, I went to 
see Mme. Dillon, Rue Joubert. There I learned that 
she had been for several days in the country, not 
far from Saint-Cloud, with Mme. de Boigne. She had 
left no word for me. I then demanded the name, and 
the route to take to this house, and immediately set 
out again, after having written a line to the Due de 
Bassano, to announce to him my arrival. 

After a trip of an hour and a half, I arrived at 
Beauregard, the house of Mme. de Boigne, above 
Malmaison. Half past eleven was striking when I 


arrived, and Mme. Dillon was still in bed. Fanny 
cried: "Now we are saved. Here is my sister!" Her 
mother, on the contrary, was seized with fright at 
the idea of the activity which my energy would 
impart to her. She had thought of nothing. I began 
by advising her to get up, dress, take breakfast, and 
then return to Paris with my sister and myself. At 
this moment General Bertrand arrived. Until then 
I had never met him, and he probably knew that 
my husband had been charged by Mme. Dillon with 
the task of refusing his marriage propositions two 
years before. As he was naturally extremely timid, 
he was very much embarrassed. In order to put him 
at his ease, I proposed to him a walk in the park 
while awaiting the moment when Mme. Dillon should 
be dressed. During this promenade which lasted an 
hour, we came to such a complete understanding that 
on returning to the house all was arranged. 

Without entering into long details, I will say that 
the following morning everything was ready and the 
signature of the contract was fixed for the next 
evening. This was accomplished at the Mairie. The 
Grand-Juge Regnier was awakened at five o'clock in 
the morning to have expedited I know not what act 
which had to serve as a certificate of baptism for 
my sister, as Mme. Dillon had lost the one which 
she possessed, if she ever had one. Even the most 
diligent courier would not have been able to go to 
Avesnes in Flanders, where my sister was born, and 
return by the day destined by Napoleon for the 
marriage. The Emperor had also insisted that 
the ceremony should take place at Saint-Leu, at the 



1791 - 18*7 


Chateau of Queen Hortense, who was very careful 
to carry out in all particulars the orders given by the 
Emperor for the ceremony. Thus at the moment 
when he was going to assemble around him all the 
potentates who were then at his feet, the great man 
had found the time to regulate the minutest details 
of the celebration of the marriage of his favorite 
aide de camp. 

I was presented to the Emperor by Mme. de 
Bassano at Saint-Cloud. Towards eight o'clock in 
the morning, it was necessary for me to go to her 
house in Court costume, with a plumed toque. The 
Emperor received me in the most gracious manner, 
asked me many questions regarding Brussels, the 
society, la haute societe, with a smile which seemed 
to say: "Vous n'aimez que celle-la." Then he laughed 
at having made me get up so early in the morning 
and made a little fun of Mme. de Bassano on this 
subject, a mockery which she took with a little sulky 
air which was very becoming to her. She has since 
told me that the Emperor at that time was quite 
smitten with her. 

The great ones of the earth arrived with their 
wives. The clauses of the marriage contract were 
read, but I do not remember the details, although I 
think they were favorable to my sister. Fanny, that 
day, appeared to very great advantage. 

The evening which preceded the day of the marriage 
passed in a very tiresome manner. The dejeuner the 
next day was not more amusing. The marriage was to 
take place at half past three. All the "archi" arrived: 



the Marshals, the Generals and so on. We marched 
in a procession to the chapel. The Abbe d'Osmond, 
Bishop of Nancy, later Archbishop of Florence, gave 
the nuptial benediction. Then the dinner was served, 
and after dinner we danced. Many young people 
came from Paris. Queen Hortense, who loved to 
dance, nevertheless was in bad humor, on account 
of a little incident which was quite amusing. The 
Emperor had not appeared, but he had intimated to 
Queen Hortense that, after having examined the set 
of emeralds surrounded by diamonds which the 
Empress had given Fanny, he did not think it was 
sufficient. As he knew that Hortense had a similar 
set, he requested her to add hers to that given by 
her mother, in order to complete the gift. She did 
not expect anything of this kind and was very much 
displeased, but it was necessary to submit. 




The Winter Season at Brussels. 'The Ennui of Queen Hortense. 
Arrival of Marie-Louise at Compiegne. High Society 
at Brussels and the Imperial Government. The Guard of 
Honor. Napoleon and Marie-Louise at Brussels. Dinner 
with the Emperor. Ball at the Hotel de Ville. Departure 
of the Emperor. The Summer at Brussels. Examination 
of Humbert at the Conseil d'Etat. Humbert Appointed 
Sous-Prefet at Florence. Birth of the King of Rome. 
The Private Baptism. The Old Guard. 

I RETURNED to Brussels after several grand 
dinners given in honor of the marriage, which 
were very boring. I set out with joy to be again 
with my husband and my children. The autumn and 
the winter passed quite agreeably at Brussels. I gave 
two or three handsome balls. Mme. de Duras came 
with her daughters to pass two weeks with us. I gave 
them dances and took them to the theatre in the 
excellent box of the Prefecture. They had a very 
good time. 

Queen Hortense had passed through Brussels in 
the course of the last journey which she made to 
rejoin her husband for a period of several days at 
Amsterdam. I saw her when she went through and 
she expressed a great boredom over the necessity of 
going to resume her duties as Queen. 


As I have no pretension of writing history, I will 
not speak of the marriage of the Emperor Napoleon 
with the Archiduchesse Marie-Louise. I will only 
report what my sister told me regarding the arrival 
of this Princess at Compiegne. 

The Emperor was then at Compiegne with the 
new Ladies of Honor of the Empress and was in a 
state of boundless impatience to see his new wife. 
A little caleche was waiting all hitched up in the 
court of the Chateau to take him to meet her. When 
the advance courier came, Napoleon rushed to the 
caleche and set out to meet the berline which was 
bringing the spouse so much desired. The carriage 
stopped. The door was opened and Marie-Louise 
prepared to descend, but her husband did not give 
her the time. He entered the berline, embraced his 
wife, and then having pushed her sister, the Queen 
of Naples, without ceremony onto the front seat of 
the carriage, he seated himself beside Marie-Louise. 

Arriving at the Chateau he descended first, offered 
her his arm and conducted her to the salon de service, 
where all the invited guests were assembled. It was 
already evening. The Emperor presented, one after an- 
other, all the ladies of the mansion, and then the men. 
This presentation over, he took the Empress by the 
hand and conducted her to her apartment. All of us 
thought that the Empress was proceeding with her toi- 
lette. We waited for an hour and then commenced to 
be very anxious to have our supper. At this moment, 
the grand chamberlain came to announce that Their 
Majesties had retired. The surprise was great, but no 
one ventured to let it be seen, and we went to supper. 



This marriage with an Archiduchesse was cele- 
brated at Brussels with great rejoicing. The recollec^ 
tions of the Austrian domination were far from being 
effaced. The nobility of Brussels, which until then had 
kept aloof from the new government, attracted now by 
the good administration of a Prefet of the aristocratic 
class, found the moment favorable to lay aside its for- 
mer antipathy, which had commenced to be irksome. 

When Monsieur de La Tour du Pin learned that 
the Emperor was going to bring the young Empress 
to the capital of the ancient possessions of her father 
in Belgium, he created a Guard of Honor to form the 
service at the Chateau of Laeken. This Guard was 
composed entirely of Belgians, to the exclusion of 
all French. The uniform was very simple: a green 
coat with amaranthine breeches. It was a cavalry 
corps and very well mounted. My sister came to 
Brussels and stayed with us at the Prefecture. She 
was present at the grand dinner which we gave in 
honor of this Guard, at which the ladies were adorned 
with ribbons of the same colors as the uniform. 

The Emperor arrived at Laeken for dinner. The 
next day he received the Guard of Honor and all the 
officials. The Mayor, the Due d'Ursel, presented the 
municipal authorities to him. In the evening there 
was an Assembly at which I presented the ladies, 
nearly all of whom I knew. Marie-Louise did not 
address a personal word to any of them. The name 
of the most illustrious lady present, for example the 
Duchesse d'Arenberg, or the Comtesse de Merode, 

meant no more to her ear than that of Mme. P , 

wife of the Receiver General. 



After the Assembly. I had the honor of playing a 
game of whist with Her Majesty. The Due d'Ursel 
named the cards which I must throw upon the table 
and warned me when it was my turn to deal. This 
kind of comedy lasted half an hour. After this, the 
Emperor having retired, we separated, and I was 
charmed to return home. 

The following day there was to be a grand ball at 
the Hotel de Ville. I was therefore somewhat put 
out when I was invited to dinner at Laeken, as I did 
not well see how I could find a moment to change 
my toilette, or at least my gown, between the dinner 
and the ball. However, the pleasure of seeing and 
listening to the Emperor during a period of two hours 
was so great that I could not but appreciate the 
value of such an invitation. The Due d'Ursel ac- 
companied me, and as we were to go afterwards to 
the Hotel de Ville to receive the Emperor, I ordered 
my femme de chambre to be there with another 
toilette all ready. 

This dinner was one of the events of my life of 
which I have preserved the most agreeable recollec- 
tion. Here is the way in which the guests, to the 
number of eight, were placed at the table: The 
Emperor; at his right, the Queen of Westphalia, then 
Marechal Berthier, the King of Westphalia, the 
Empress, the Due d'Ursel, Mme. de Bouille, finally 
myself, at the left of the Emperor. He talked to me 
nearly all the time, regarding the manufactures, the 
laces, the daily wages, the life of the lace-makers; 
then of the monuments, the antiquities, the establish- 
ments of charity, the manners of the people, the 



beguines. Fortunately I was well posted regarding all 
of these subjects. The Emperor demanded of the 
Due d'Ursel: "What are the wages of a lace-maker?" 
The poor man was embarrassed in the endeavor to 
express the sum in centimes. The Emperor saw his 
hesitation, and turning to me asked: "What is the 
name of the money of the country?" I replied: "An 
escalin, or sixty-three centimes." "Ah! c'est bien," 
said he. 

We did not remain more than three-quarters of an 
hour at table. On returning to the salon, the Emperor 
took a large cup of coffee and began again to talk. 
First he spoke of the toilette of the Empress which 
he admired. Then, changing the topic, he asked me 
if I found my lodging satisfactory. 

"Pas mal," I replied, "dans Tappartement de 
Votre Majeste." 

"Ah ! vraiment," said he, " il a coute assez cher pour 
cela. C'est ce coquin de . . . (le nom m'echappe) le secre- 
taire de Monsieur Pontecoulant, qui 1'a fait arranger." 

The Emperor then turned to an entirely different 
subject of conversation. He spoke of Charles the 
Bold, Due de Bourgogne, and of Louis XI, from whom 
he descended quite abruptly to Louis XIV, saying 
that he had never been really great except in his 
latter years. Observing with what interest I listened 
to him, and that I understood him, he returned to 
Louis XI and expressed himself thus: "J'ai mon avis 
sur celui-la, et je sais bien que ce n'est pas 1'avis 
de tout le monde." After several words regarding 
the shame of the reign of Louis XV, he pronounced 
the name of Louis XVI, upon which, stopping with 



an air at once respectful and sad, he said: "Ce 
malheureux prince!" 

At this moment someone announced that it was 
necessary to set out for the ball. Monsieur d'Ursel 
and I rushed to the carriage, and the horses, at a 
gallop, brought us to the Hotel de Ville. I went up 
four steps at a time. A toilette which was all ready, 
awaited me. I changed my costume and was able to 
be in the ball-room when the Emperor arrived. He 
paid me a compliment on my promptitude and asked 
me if I intended to dance. I replied: "No, because I 
am forty years old." At this he began to laugh, saying: 
"There are many others who dance who do not reveal 
their age like that." The ball was very fine and was 
prolonged after the supper where everyone drank to 
the health of the Empress. 

The Emperor and his wife left the following morn- 
ing. A yacht highly decorated took them to the end 
of the Canal of Brussels where they found the 
carriages which conveyed them to Antwerp. On 
boarding the yacht, my husband noticed the Marquis 
de Trazegnies, the Commander of the Guard of 
Honor. Fearing that the Emperor would not invite 
him to take a place on the yacht, where there was 
only room for a few persons, he named him, at the 
same time adding: "His ancestor was Constable undei 
Saint Louis." These words produced a magic effect 
on the Emperor, who immediately summoned the 
Marquis de Trazegnies and had a long talk with him. 
A short time later, his wife was named Dame du 
Palais. She pretended to be displeased over this 
nomination, although secretly she was delighted. 



After this trip of the Emperor, we resumed the 
ordinary train of our life at Brussels. The summer 
passed in visiting different country houses where we 
were invited to dine. We went to Antwerp to be 
present at the launching of a large vessel of Seventy- 
four, one of the new ones at that moment on the 
ways. Our excellent friend, Monsieur Malouet, was 
at the head of this work through his position as 
Prefet Maritime. All the details of these constructions 
interested me in the highest degree. 

Our son Humbert went to Paris to pass his ex- 
amination. It was a very trying thing for a young 
man of twenty years to reply to a whole series of 
questions which were asked him. But it was even more 
so, when the Emperor, seated in an armchair, with 
the candidates standing before him, took up the 
examination and asked you a lot of unexpected 
things. Humbert heard the examiner say in the ear 
of Napoleon in pointing him out: "This is one of the 
most distinguished," and this good word comforted 
him. The Emperor asked him if he knew any foreign 
language, to which he replied: "English and Italian, 
as well as French/' It was the facility with which he 
spoke Italian that decided his nomination as Sous- 
Prefet at Florence. 

Towards the end of the winter of 1810 and 1811, 
we went, my husband and I, to pass two months at 
Paris, to accompany our son Humbert, who was 
setting out for Florence. My sister Fanny was at 
Paris with her two children, of whom the younger, 
little Hortense, was only three months old. 



We had left at Brussels, Mme. d'Henin, my two 
daughters and Monsieur de Lally, who passed for an 
English prisoner. He was very anxious not to lose 
this position, in order to preserve the pension of 
300 pounds sterling which was paid him on that 
account by the English government. 

My dear Humbert left for Florence. This departure, 
the beginning of a long absence, was very painful to 
me. I was his friend, as well as his mother. I was 
therefore desirous of returning at once to Brussels, 
but my husband did not think it advisable to leave 
Paris before the birth of the Imperial child which 
was expected at any moment. 

One evening I was invited to an entertainment 
given at the Tuileries, in a little gallery where a 
theatre had been improvised. We assembled in the 
salon of the Empress. The Emperor came directly 
to me. With an extreme kindness he spoke to me 
first of my son, then he exclaimed regarding the 
simplicity of my dress, my good taste and my dis- 
tinguished air, to the great surprise of several ladies 
covered with diamonds, who were asking each other 
who this new-comer could possibly be. When we 
entered the gallery, I was placed upon a bench very 
near that of the Emperor. The play, "L'Avocat 
Patelin, " was performed by some admirable actors. 
The piece which was very comical amused Napoleon 
very much and he laughed heartily. The presence of 
the great man did not prevent me from doing the 
same. This pleased him very much, as he said after- 
wards in mocking the ladies who thought it necessary 
to maintain their gravity. It was considered a great 



favor to be invited to this spectacle, and only about 
fifty ladies were present. 

The morning of the twentieth of March, 1811, we 
heard the first discharge of the guns of the Invalides. 
Every one rushed into the street. All the carriages 
stopped ; the merchants, upon the thresholds of their 
shops, the people at their windows, counted the 
strokes. We heard everyone say: "Three, four, five," 
and so on. There was an interval of about a minute 
between each discharge. After the twenty-first, there 
was a profound silence, but at the twenty-second, 
there were spontaneous cries of: "Vive I'Empereur!" 

That evening I dined with my sister, Mme. 
Bertrand, and there we were notified that the child 
would be privately baptized at nine o'clock and that 
the ladies who had been presented at Court could 
attend the ceremony. 

Mme. Dillon, my sister and I went. We had to 
enter by the Pavilion de Flore and pass through all 
the apartments, as far as the Salle des Marechaux. 
The salons were full of the dignitaries of the Empire, 
men and women. Every one endeavored to be at the 
edge of the passage-way, kept open by the ushers, 
where the procession was to pass to descend to the 
chapel. We managed to manoeuvre so as to find 
ourselves on the landing of the stairway. From this 
point we enjoyed a very rare sight, that of the old 
grognards of the Vieille Garde, arranged in order 
upon each step, every one wearing the cross upon his 
breast. They were forbidden to make a movement, 
but a very vivid emotion was depicted upon their 



stern faces, and I saw tears of joy in their eyes. The 
Emperor appeared at the side of Mme. de Montes- 
quiou, who bore the child with his face uncovered, 
upon a cushion of white satin covered with lace. I 
had the opportunity to obtain a good look at him. 




Marie-Louise at Laeken. Opening of the Russian Campaign. 
Movements of Troops. Monsieur de Liedekerke Demands 
the Hand of Charlotte de La Tour du Pin. Humbert is 
Appointed Sous-Prefet at Sens. Dismissal of the Prefet 
of Brussels. Mme. de La Tour du Pin Leaves for Paris. 
Request for an Audience. Conversation with the Em- 
peror. Surprise of Monsieur de Montalivet. Monsieur 
de La Tour du Pin Appointed Prefet at Amiens. The As- 
sembly at the Tuileries. Amiability of Napoleon. The 
Last Days at Brussels. Regrets of the Population. 
Marriage of Charlotte. 

A FEW days later we returned to Brussels 
where the Emperor was expected during 
the spring. His brother Louis had deserted 
the throne of Holland where the iron hand of Napo- 
leon had prevented him from carrying out his policy 
for the good of the country. He had left in Holland 
a very honorable record, as I know from King 
William himself. The people felt very differently 
about the administration of Monsieur de Celles, the 
son-in-law of Mme. de Valence, whose memory there 
has been held in horror. The Emperor appointed him 
Prefet at Amsterdam where he did all the evil of 
which a man is capable who is absolutely devoid of 



It was towards the spring of this year 1811, as 
nearly as I can remember, that we received the visit, 
always dreaded by the Prefets, of a Councillor of 
State, en mission, a kind of spy of high rank, de- 
termined to find fault even with those whom he 
could not help esteeming. Monsieur Real fell to the 
lot of Monsieur de La Tour du Pin, who realized, 
at the time of the first visit, that he would endeavor 
to do him all the harm possible. Nevertheless, during 
his sojourn, we gave him a dinner followed by a 
reception. I had said to the ladies who had shown 
kindness to me that they would do me a favor in 
coming to pass the evening with us. After dinner, on 
returning to the grand salon, we found united there 
all the most distinguished persons of the society of 
Brussels, both men and women. Monsieur Real was 
stupified by the names, the manners, and the jewels. 
He could not refrain from saying to Monsieur de 
La Tour du Pin: "Monsieur, voila un salon qui 
m'offusque terriblement." To which my husband 
replied: "I am very sorry, but fortunately, it does 
not have the same effect on the Emperor." 

The nineteenth of September,' 1811, the Emperor 
set out from Paris to visit the camp at Boulogne, 
the French Fleet and the north of the Empire. The 
Empress went to Laeken near Brussels, where she 
arrived the night of the twenty-first or twenty- 
second of September. We were invited to come to 
Laeken every day to pass the evening and play at 
lotto. This lasted for a week and was very boring. 
The Empress on every occasion showed the greatest 
insipidness. Every day she said the same thing to me 



in giving me her pulse to count: "Do you think that 
I have any fever?" to which I invariably replied: 
"Madame, I do not know anything about it." The 
Due d'Ursel was charged with the task of arranging 
the morning promenades, according to the weather. 
One day when Marie-Louise visited the Museum 
she seemed to be struck by a handsome portrait of 
her illustrious grandmother, Marie-Therese. The Due 
d'Ursel proposed to her to place the portrait in a 
salon at Laeken. She replied: "Oh no, the frame is 
too old!" Another time he suggested as an interest- 
ing promenade that part of the Forest of Soignes 
known as the "pilgrimage of the Archiduchesse 
Isabelle," whose sanctity and goodness have re- 
mained in the hearts of the people. She replied that 
she did not like the woods. In fine, this insignificant 
woman, so unworthy of the great man whose destiny 
she shared, seemed to make it a point to be as dis- 
agreeable as possible to the Belgians whose hearts 
were so disposed to love her. I never saw her again 
until after she lost her throne, and then she was still 
as destitute of intelligence. 

During the summer of 1811, Monsieur de Talley- 
rand came to preside over an electoral college, sum- 
moned I think to elect a senator and two deputies to 
the Corps Legislatif. He arrived with a large household 
and gave several dinners in the fine apartments of the 
Hotel d'Arenberg, placed at his disposal by the blind 
Due. On this occasion he showed again all his great and 
charming manners, which contrasted in a comical fash- 
ion with those of the Archbishop of Malines who had 
the appearance of a Scapin in a violet cassock. 



About the middle of the spring of 1812, we began 
to see the troops passing through on their way to 
Germany. Several regiments of the Young Guard 
came to Brussels and remained there. Other regiments 
only passed through the city. Instructions were re- 
ceived to bring together the farmers' wagons hitched 
to four horses. Sometimes the order was received only 
in the morning, and it was necessary the same even- 
ing to have eighty or one hundred wagons assembled, 
provided with forage for two days. The gendarmes 
had to gallop in every direction to notify the farmers. 
The latter, obliged to leave their plows, and their 
work, were in very bad humor. But who would have 
dared to resist? The thought never occurred to any 
one from Bayonne to Hamburg. We served several 
substantial meals to the corps of officers who came 
at ten o'clock in the evening and left at midnight. 
Doubtless very few of these brave fellows ever re- 
turned from this disastrous campaign. 

No one had any idea that the French army would 
go as far as Moscow. Therefore, when my husband, 
upon his return from a trip of several days to Paris, 
brought back a very fine map of Poland and Russia, 
we were astonished that Lapie had added upon the 
margin a little square of paper on which was the 
name of Moscow. The map did not go as far as 
the meridian of that city, and when pinned to the 
draperies of the salon, every one thought that this 
precaution on the part of the map-maker was very 
unnecessary. It was a prognostic! 

During the last months of this same year, young 
Auguste de Liedekerke-Beaufort paid very marked 


1790 - 1816 


attentions to my elder daughter Charlotte, who at 
this time was sixteen years of age. She was very tall, 
and without being pretty had a very distinguished 
air. She was a noble demoiselle in every sense of the 
term. In this affair both the heart and mind of young 
Liedekerke were involved. He felt that Mile, de La 
Tour du Pin, with her personal charms, her name 
and her connections, although without fortune, suited 
him better than some good Belgian girl who was very 
rich and very obscure. He declared to his parents 
that he would not marry any other woman than my 
daughter. His father raised some objections, but his 
mother in the hope that the political career of her 
son would be favored by a marriage which would 
take him out of his country, obtained the consent 
of her husband. The first day of the year 1813, at 
ten o'clock in the morning, Mme. de Liedekerke 
was announced. She demanded the hand of my 
daughter for her son. I was prepared for this 
request which I received and agreed to with 
pleasure. Mme. de Liedekerke wished to see my 
daughter whom she embraced and it was ar- 
ranged that the marriage should take place within 
six weeks. 

My daughter Cecile was at the Convent of the 
Dames de Berlaimont where she had been for six 
months preparing for her first communion. I promised 
to take her out the day of her sister's marriage. At 
the same time we received news that Humbert, then 
sous-prefet at Florence, had just been named as sous- 
prefet at Sens, Department of the Yonne. This news 
filled the measure of our contentment. 



My husband had gone to Nivelles to be present at 
the drawing of the conscription necessitated by the 
continuation of the war which the Emperor had 
undertaken. I was alone at home before luncheon 
when I saw the secretaire-general of the Prefecture 
enter with a dejected face. He informed me that the 
courier from Paris had just brought word of the dis- 
missal of my husband and of his replacement by 
Monsieur d'Houdetot, Prefet of Ghent. 

This news struck me like a thunder clap, and in it 
I saw at the first moment a cause of breaking off the 
marriage of my daughter. However, I made up my 
mind not to yield without a fight. Without awaiting 
the return of my husband to whom I sent a courier, 
I decided to leave at once for Paris. I owe it to Mon- 
sieur de Liedekerke, to state that he came to see me 
with an eagerness and a warmth which must surprise 
him now, if he recalls this circumstance, to beg me 
not to change our plans in any respect. 

I left my aunt and Mme. de Maurville to pack 
everything which belonged to us in the Prefecture, 
and at four o'clock I set out for Paris. I had had so 
many things to do and to arrange in the space of 
two hours, that I was already fatigued when I set 
out. The night passed in a wretched chaise de poste 
and the anxiety caused by our new position gave me 
quite a high fever, with which I arrived at Paris at 
ten o'clock in the evening. I went to the house of 
Mme. de Duras whom I found out. Her daughters 
had just gone to bed. They arose and sent some one 
in search of their mother who on returning found me 
lying on her sofa worn out with fatigue. There was 



no room in the apartment to lodge me, but she had 
the key of the apartment of the Chevalier de Thuisy, 
our common friend. My femme de chambre and the 
servant who had followed me went and prepared a 
bed in which I took refuge at once,but without finding 
the repose of which I had great need. The next morn- 
ing at an early hour, Mme. de Duras came with 
Doctor Auvity whom she had summoned. He found 
that I still had a good deal of fever. But I told him 
that it was necessary for him to get me on my feet 
at no matter what cost, and that I must be in a state 
to go to Versailles before night. He then gave me a 
calming draft which caused me to sleep until five 
o'clock. I do not know in what state of health I then 
found myself, but at any rate I did not pay any 
attention to it. 

I had a carriage called and, dressed in a very 
elegant toilette, I went in search of Mme. de Duras. 
We set out at once for Versailles where the Emperor 
was staying at Trianon. We stopped at an inn, Rue 
de TOrangerie, where they put us together in an 
apartment. I at once opened my ink-stand. Mme. de 
Duras, to whom I had confided only my desire to 
have an audience with His Majesty, saw me take a 
fine large sheet of paper and then copy a rough draft 
which I had drawn from my portfolio, and said to me : 
"To whom are you writing?" "To whom?" I replied, 
"apparently to the Emperor. I do not like small 


The letter written and sealed, we again got into a 
carriage to take it to Trianon. There I asked for the 
chamberlain on duty. I had taken the precaution to 



prepare a little note for him. By a fortunate chance 
he was Adrien de Mun who was one of my best 
friends. He approached the carriage and promised 
me that at ten o'clock, when the Emperor came from 
tea with the Empress, he would hand him my letter. 
He kept his promise and was as satisfied as he was 
surprised when, on looking at the address, Napo- 
leon said, speaking to himself: "Mme. de La Tour 
du Pin writes very well. It is not the first time that 
I have seen her hand-writing." These words con- 
firmed my suspicion that a certain letter written to 
Mme. d'Henin had been seized before arriving at 
its destination. 

After our trip to Trianon, we returned to our hotel. 
About ten o'clock in the evening, while Claire and I 
were debating as to whether I would have my audi- 
ence, "yes" or "no," the hotel waiter who up to that 
moment had considered us as simple mortals, opened 
the door and cried: "De la part de 1'Empereur!" 

The same moment a man covered with gold lace 
entered and said: "His Majesty awaits Mme. de La 
Tour du Pin tomorrow at ten o'clock in the morning." 

The good news did not trouble my slumber. On 
the following morning, after having drunk a large 
bowl of coffee, which Claire had prepared with her 
own hands to brace me up, as she said, I set out for 
Trianon. I had to wait ten minutes in the salon 
which preceded the one where Napoleon received. I 
was very glad to find no one there for I had need of 
this moment of solitude to arrange my thoughts. A 
conversation en tete a tete with this extraordinary 
man was an event of great importance in my life, 



and nevertheless I declare here in all the sincerity 
of my heart, perhaps with pride, that I did not feel 
in the least embarrassed. The door opened; the usher, 
by a gesture, made me a sign to enter and then closed 
the double door behind me. I found myself in the 
presence of Napoleon. He advanced to meet me and 
said with quite a pleasant air: 

"Madame, I am afraid that you are very much 
displeased with me." 

I inclined my head in sign of assent and the con- 
versation began. Having lost the notes which I wrote 
of this long audience which lasted fifty-nine minutes 
by the clock, after the lapse of so many years I am 
not able to remember all the details of the interview. 
The Emperor endeavored, in short, to prove to me 
that he had been forced to act as he had done. Then 
I pictured to him in a few words the state of society 
at Brussels, the consideration which my husband had 
acquired there compared with all the preceding 
prefets, the visit of Real, the stupidity of General 
Chambarlhac and of his wife, a religieuse defroquee, 
and so on. All this was recited rapidly, and, as I was 
encouraged by his air of approbation, I ended by 
announcing to the Emperor that my daughter was 
going to marry one of the greatest seigneurs of 
Brussels. Upon which, he interrupted me, placing his 
beautiful hand upon my arm, and said : 

" J'espere que cela ne fera pas manquer le mariage, 
et, dans ce cas, vous ne devriez pas le regretter." 

Then while promenading the length of the large 
salon, while I followed, walking at his side, he pro- 
nounced these words (and it is perhaps the only 



time in his life that he ever said them and the privilege 
was reserved for me to overhear him) : 

"I have made a mistake, but what can I do?" 

I replied, "Your Majesty can repair the error." 

Then he placed his hand on his forehead and said: 
"Ah! they are at work upon the prefectures; the 
Minister of the Interior is coming this evening." 

Then he mentioned the names of four or five de- 
partments and added: "There is Amiens. Will that 
suit you?" 

I replied without hesitation: "Perfectly, Sire." 

"In that case, it is arranged," said he. "You can 
go and notify Montalivet." 

And with that charming smile of which so much 
has been said: "A present, m'avez-vous pardonne?" 

I replied to him in my best manner: "J'ai besoin 
aussi que Votre Majeste me pardonne de lui avoir 
parle si librement." 

"Oh! vous avez tres bien fait." 

I made a courtesy and he went to the door which 
he opened for me himself. 

On coming out I found Adrien de Mun and Juste 
de Noailles, who asked me if I had arranged my 
business. I only replied that the Emperor had been 
very kind to me. Without losing time, I entered my 
carriage and taking Mme. de Duras who, unable to 
overcome her impatience, had come to await me in 
an alley of Trianon, we returned to Paris. 

After having left Mme. de Duras at her door, I 
went to see Monsieur de Montalivet, where I arrived 
at about two-thirty o'clock. He received me in a 
friendly manner, but with a very sad air, saying: 

[374] ' 


" Ah ! I could do nothing to prevent it. The Emperor 
is very displeased with your husband. They have 
told him a thousand tales. They pretend that people 
went to your house as to a Court." 

With the idea of amusing myself a little with him, 
I replied: "But would it not be possible to find 
another place for my husband?" 

"Oh! I would never dare to propose such a thing 
to the Emperor. When he is put out justly or unjustly 
with any one, it is very difficult to change him." 

"Well," I replied, with a hypocritical air, "it is 
necessary to bow the head. However, as you are 
going to Trianon to present four nominations for 
prefets to be signed ..." 

"But, how do you know that?" he cried hastily. 

Without having the appearance of understanding, 
I added: "You will propose Monsieur de La Tour 
du Pin for the prefecture of Amiens." 

He looked at me with stupification and I continued 
very simply, "The Emperor has charged me to tell 
you that." 

Monsieur de Montalivet gave an exclamation, took 
my hands with much friendship and interest and at 
the same time looking at me from head to foot: 

"Indeed," he said, "I should have divined that that 
pretty toilette this morning was not intended for me." 

The nomination of Monsieur de La Tour du Pin 
appeared the same evening in the "Moniteur," and 
I received the compliments of all the people of my 
acquaintance who had been afflicted by the news of 
his disgrace. In fact this dismissal was a fortunate 
event for my husband, as you will see later on. 



I remained several days at Paris where I awaited 
my husband and the Comte de Liedekerke who came 
to rejoin me for the signature of the contract of 
marriage. At this time there was an Assembly at 
Court and I went with Mme. de Mun. I was dressed 
very simply, without a single gem, contrary to the 
custom of the ladies of the Empire who were covered 
with jewels. I found myself placed in the last row in 
the Throne Room where I was a head taller than 
two little women who had placed themselves un- 
ceremoniously before me. The Emperor entered. He 
glanced his eyes over the three rows of ladies, spoke 
to several with an inattentive air, and then having 
perceived me, he smiled in that manner which all 
the historians have endeavored to describe and which 
was truly remarkable, from the contrast it presented 
to the usual expression of his face which was always 
serious and often severe. But the surprise of my 
neighbors was great when Napoleon, still smiling, 
addressed to me these words: "Etes-vous contente de 
moi, Madame?" The persons who surrounded me 
then withdrew to the right and left, and I found 
myself, without knowing how, in the front rank. I 
thanked the Emperor in an accent of very sincere 
gratitude. After several very amiable words, he 
passed on. This was the last time I saw this great man. 

I set out for Brussels where I was very desirous of 
seeing my children, and where I had besides a thou- 
sand things to do. My husband went by way of 
Amiens to prepare for our installation. He then came 
to rejoin me with Humbert, who was back from 
Florence and who had received at Paris his nomina- 



tion as sous-prefet at Sens. Who could have possibly 
foreseen at that moment that ten months later he 
would be chased from that city by the Wiirtembergers ? 

When Monsieur de La Tour du Pin arrived at 
Brussels, he found me settled with my children with 
the Marquis de Trazegnies, who had offered us a 
very cordial hospitality. Monsieur d'Houdetot had 
announced, without delicacy, that he would take 
possession of the Prefecture the second day after the 
date of my return to Brussels. I was desirous that 
he should find no vestige of our sojourn of five years 
in the house which he was to inhabit. Everything 
which belonged to us was packed and dispatched. As 
for the furniture of the Prefecture, every article had 
been put back in the place designated by the in- 
ventory. Nothing was lacking. Monsieur d'Houdetot 
was rather put out by this exactitude and was even 
more disturbed by the regrets which all classes loudly 
expressed over the recall of Monsieur de La Tour du 
Pin. He found a pretext to return to Ghent, and 
lived there until after our departure which was fixed 
for the second of April. My daughter was to be 
married the twentieth. My husband could say with 
Guzman : 

"J'etais maitre en ces lieux, seul j'y commande 


He therefore summoned the Chief of Police, Mon- 
sieur Malaise, and enjoined him to see that there was 
no manifestation, too pronounced, on the part of 
the people on the occasion of the marriage of our 
daughter. The Mayor, the Due D'Ursel, to the same 
end, fixed an advanced hour of the evening, half past 



ten, for the marriage at the Municipality. This did 
not prevent the people from assembling in crowds in 
all the streets through which we were to pass in 
going to the Hotel de Ville which was brilliantly 
illuminated. On all sides were heard only expressions 
of regret and kindness in connection with Monsieur 
de La Tour du Pin. When we returned, after the civil 
marriage at the Hotel de Ville, to the house of Mme. 
de Trazegnies, we found all the salons of the ground 
floor lighted up and in the street under the windows 
was a large band composed of all the musicians of the 
city to give us a serenade. My husband was naturally 
very much pleased at this manifestation of the public 

The following day my daughter was married in 
the private chapel of the Due d'Ursel. After a fine 
dejeuner attended by relatives and friends, she left 
with her husband for the Chateau de Noisy, situated 
near Dinant in the Belgian Ardennes. There her 
father-in-law had preceded her by several hours. I 
accompanied them as far as Tirlemont. 

Up to this moment, I have not spoken again of 
Monsieur de Chambeau, our friend and companion 
in misfortune during our emigration to America. He 
had fallen into possession of a small fortune and had 
passed at Brussels the greater part of his leisure 
time. His business, however, obliged him to make 
long sojourns in the south of France. For a year past 
he had occupied at Antwerp a position which 
was temporary, it is true, but which held out the 
assurance of advancement. When he learned of the 
catastrophe which forced our departure from Brussels 



so suddenly, he came at once, and, knowing the bad 
state of our affairs, he said to my husband: "You 
are about to marry your daughter and at the same 
time you are losing your position. I have 60,000 francs 
in securities which I have brought you. Use them as 
your own." He was present at the marriage of Char- 
lotte who was his god-daughter. 

At the moment I write these lines, at Pisa, at the 
beginning of the year 1845, I do not know anything 
more about this excellent man. I saw him again ten 
years ago at Paris. At this time he was living in a 
little country house at fipinay where he had fallen 
entirely under the influence of two young serving 
maids who had acquired an unfortunate control over 
his old age. They took care to prevent him from 
coming near us. Our poor friend is probably no longer 

I 379 ] 



Society at Amiens. The Prefecture. General Dupont. 
Arrival of the Cossacks. Conversation with Talleyrand. 
His Hatred of Napoleon. Flight of Humbert from Sens. 
In the Ante-chamber of Talleyrand. "Vive le Roi!" 
Distribution of White Cockades. Preparations for the 
Reception of the King. The King Enjoys His Dinner. 
Ill-nature of the Duchesse d'Angouleme. Monsieur de 
La Tour du Pin Re-enters Diplomacy. Humbert is Ap- 
pointed Lieutenant of the Black Musketeers. 

IT was in the month of April, 1813, that we arrived 
at Amiens where we were destined to see happen 
events which we were far from looking for. Here 
we found our brother-in-law, the Marquis de Lameth, 
whose friendship had already assured us a very 
favorable reception on the part of the nobility and 
of the people of importance in the city, who up to 
then had been very much dissatisfied with their 

The house set apart for the Prefecture was charm- 
ing. It had just been entirely refurnished with ele- 
gance and luxury. The ground floor comprised a 
complete apartment where I lived with my husband. 
On one side was the cabinet of the Prefet, communi- 
cating with the bureaus. The house looked out on a 
magnificent garden of seven or eight acres, well 



cultivated. This gave us almost the pleasure of being 
in the country. 

The first days of summer passed very agreeably. 
We often went to dinner in the neighborhood with 
friends who resided there during the fine season. My 
daughter Cecile, who was thirteen years of age at 
this time, already showed very great talent for music 
and also had a charming voice of great compass. 
During the five years that we had passed at Brussels 
I had given her an excellent teacher in Italian. 
Formerly from Rome and not knowing French, he 
had taught my daughter to use the fine Roman idiom. 
She expressed herself in this language with facility. 
Charlotte and she also read not only Italian, but also 
English. We were very well settled at Amiens when 
we commenced to hear the grumbling of the storm. 
Every one was so confident of the fortunes of Na- 
poleon, that the idea did not occur to any one to 
admit that he could possibly have any other enemy 
to fear than the frosts that had been so fatal to him 
during the Russian campaign. 

However, after the Battle of Leipsic, there began 
the requisitions, the enlisting of men and the organi- 
zation of Guards of Honor. This last measure caused 
desolation among the families. 

Under these circumstances, my husband had need 
of all his firmness. He served the Government in good 
faith and the thought of the Restoration had not yet 
occurred to his mind. He neither foresaw it nor 
desired it. All the faults and all the vices which had 
been the causes of the First Revolution were still 
too fresh in his memory for him to desire to see the 


exiled Royal Family return, bringing in its train the 
former weakness and abuses of all kinds. The expres- 
sion, so well justified: "They have learned nothing 
and forgotten nothing," often came to his mind. 
However, he endeavored so far as possible to mitigate 
the application of the rules for the organization of 
the Guards of Honor. The greatest resistance to 
certain measures was found among the rich classes, 
and I often heard him say: "They give their children 
more willingly than their money." In a city devoted 
to the manufacture of woolens, like Amiens, the 
requisitions were very burdensome, and my husband 
suspected above all things the greediness and the 
rascality of the requisitionnaires. 

The cannon of Laon which we heard at Amiens 
gave us the first news of the invasion of French 
territory. Several days later, Monsieur d'Houdetot, 
the Prefet of Brussels, fleeing before the invasion, 
entered our salon one evening, at the very moment 
that the Receiver General, Monsieur d'Haubersaert, 
who saw everything in a rosy light, was saying to us 
that he had just received a letter from Brussels and 
that Belgium was in no danger of a coup de main. 

Soon afterwards, we were informed of the ap- 
pearance of a corps of Cossacks commanded by 
General Geismar, in the plains around the city. It 
was at this time that General Dupont passed through 
Amiens, under the escort of the gendarmes. He had 
previously been transferred from the Chateau of 
Joux, where Napoleon had had him confined after 
the capitulation of Baylen, to the citadel of Doullens. 
They were now conducting him to Tours, in order 



that he might not fall into the hands of the Allies. 
He did not go any further than Paris, however, and 
the severity with which he was treated made his 

The Cossacks approached so near to Amiens that 
they could be seen from the tower of the Cathedral. 
The squadron of cavalry in garrison in the city, 
commanded by our worthy Major, presented such a 
formidable appearance that they did not appear 

My aunt, Mme. d'Henin, was settled for the 
autumn at the Chateau of Mouchy, near Beauvais 
with her friend the Princesse de Poix. Mme. de Duras 
was also there with her daughters, and they invited 
me to come and pass several days. My husband 
urged me to accept and asked me to return by way 
of Paris, to see Monsieur de Talleyrand and ascertain 
the news. Monsieur de Talleyrand had sent him a 
note by Merlin de Thionville, but this note was so 
nonsensical, and the reputation of the bearer was so 
bad, that my husband, averse to all intrigue, was 
afraid of being drawn, in spite of himself, into some 
adventure of Monsieur de Talleyrand, who hesitated 
at nothing and who willingly pushed other people 
forward while quite ready to abandon them later on 
to save himself. 

I accordingly set out for Mouchy where I remained 
three days. I left in the morning after breakfast to 
return to Amiens by way of Paris. Not wishing to 
pass the night there, I stopped at the apartment of 
Monsieur de Lally who was at Mouchy. 



After the time necessary to make a slight change 
in my toilette, I went to see Monsieur de Talleyrand 
whom I found alone in his room. He received me as 
always with that familiar grace which he has ever 
shown towards me. People have said many hard 
things of him, and perhaps he has merited even 
worse, so that the expression of Montesquieu regard- 
ing Caesar could well be applied to him: "Mais cet 
homme extraordinaire avait tant de grandes qualites, 
sans pas un defaut, quoiqu'il eut bien des vices." 
Well, in spite of everything, he possessed a charm 
which I have never found in any other man. It was 
all very well to be armed at all points against his 
immorality, his conduct, his life, against everything 
with which he was reproached, nevertheless, he at- 
tracted you as a bird is fascinated by the eye of the 

There was nothing particularly remarkable about 
our conversation that day. I noticed only that he 
repeated with a certain affectation that Monsieur de 
La Tour du Pin was "well, very well" to be at 
Amiens. I informed him of my intention to leave in 
the morning. He told me not to do so. The Emperor 
was expected in the course of the next day, he would 
see him and would come to find me after his interview 
and would let me know at what hour I could com- 
mand my post horses, which would certainly not be 
before ten o'clock in the evening. 

I returned home very much put out at being kept 
another twenty-four hours in Paris. After having 
written my husband to notify him of this delay, I 
endeavored to occupy the morning of the day follow- 



ing in going to breakfast with my good friend Mme. 
de Maurville and in making several calls. 

At ten o'clock my horses were attached and wait- 
ing at the door. The postillion was beginning to get 
impatient, as well as I myself, when Monsieur de 
Talleyrand arrived. 

"What folly to set out in this cold!" he said. 
"And above all things, in a caleche. But whose 
apartment is this?" 

"That of Monsieur de Lally." 

Then, taking a candle from the table, he began to 
look at the engravings which were hung in fine frames 
around the room. 

"Ah! Charles II, James II, just so!" And he put 
the candle back on the table. 

" Mon Dieu ! " I cried ' ' il est bien question de Charles 
II, de Jacques II ! Vous avez vu TEmpereur. Comment 
est-il? que fait-il? que dit-il apres une defaite?" 

"Oh! laissez-moi done tranquille avec votre Empe- 
reur. C'est un horrime fini." 

"Comment fini?" I said. "Que voulez-vous dire?" 

"Je veux dire," he replied, "que c'est un homme 
qui se cachera sous son lit!" 

This expression at the moment did not surprise 
me so much as at the end of our conversation. I in- 
deed knew the hatred and rancor of Monsieur de 
Talleyrand towards Napoleon, but never had I heard 
him express himself with so much bitterness. I asked 
him a thousand questions to which he replied only 
by the words : 

"II a perdu tout son materiel ... II est a bout. 
Voila tout." 



Then, searching in his pocket, he brought out a 
paper printed in English, and. while putting two logs 
on the fire, he added: 

"Let us burn a little more of the wood of poor 
Lally. Since you know English, read this passage 
for me." 

At the same time he indicated quite a long article 
marked with a pencil on the margin. I took the paper 
and read: 

"Dinner given by the Prince Regent to Mme. la 
Duchesse d'Angouleme." 

I stopped and raised my eyes to his. He had his 
usual impassible countenance. 

"Go on and read. Your postillion is getting im- 

I resumed my reading. The article gave a descrip- 
tion of the dining room hung in sky-blue satin with 
bouquets of lilies, the top of the table entirely deco- 
rated with this same royal flower, with the service of 
Sevres showing views of Paris and so on. Arrived at 
the end, I stopped and looked at him like one stupe- 
fied. He took the paper back, folded it slowly, put it 
back in his vast pocket and said, with that sly and 
malicious smile which he alone possessed: 

"Ah! que vous etes bete! A present partez, mais 
ne vous enrhumez pas." 

Then ringing, he said to my valet de chambre: 
"Call the carriage for Madame." 

He then left me, crying out as he put on his mantle : 

"Give my best regards to Gouvernet. I send him 
that for his breakfast. You will arrive in time." 

I reached Amiens at so early an hour that my 


husband had not yet risen. Without losing a moment 
I related to him the above conversation which had 
worried me during the night to such a degree that 
I could not sleep. In it he saw the explanation of 
certain perplexing expressions of Merlin de Thion- 
ville, and enjoined me to guard as the most absolute 
secret what I had learned, for if it was by such means, 
he said, that the Bourbons thought they could 
mount the throne, they would not remain there long. 

A little later, my husband ordered Humbert to 
leave for Paris to secure further news. My son had 
been at Amiens for two weeks. Driven from his sous- 
prefecture by the Wiirtembergers, he had taken 
refuge with us in order to care for his health which 
had been compromised by an attack of pleurisy 
which he contracted at Sens and of which he had 
been very ill when the enemy approached that city. 

Humbert arrived at the residence of Monsieur 
de Talleyrand, at Paris, at the very moment that 
the latter was receiving as his guest the Emperor 
Alexander. He passed the night on a bench which 
Monsieur de Talleyrand had assigned to him, in en- 
joining him not to move, so that he could find him at 
hand when he thought that the time had come for him 
to return to Amiens. At six o'clock in the morning, 
Monsieur de Talleyrand tapped him on the shoulder. 
Humbert saw that he was fully dressed. 

"Leave," he said, "with a white cockade, and cry 

Humbert was not sure that he was entirely awake. 
Shaking himself, he set out nevertheless and arrived 



at Amiens, where the news of the events had already 
been received, and where Monsieur de La Tour du 
Pin was not entirely sure what position he was 
going to take. But the voice of the people was not 
long in making itself heard. The requisitions, the 
Guards of Honor and so on had exasperated all 
classes of society. In an instant, as by an electric 
movement, cries of "Vive le Roi!" issued from all 
mouths. People rushed to the court of the Prefecture 
to demand white cockades with which Humbert, on 
leaving Paris, had filled the coffers of his caleche. 
The supply was soon exhausted. 

During the day, when the news of the arrival of 
Louis XVIII became known, people began to pay 
us marked attention. Several days after, when they 
learned that the Prefet had left for Boulogne to await 
the arrival of the King, and that His Majesty would 
stop at Amiens and that he would pass the night at 
the Prefecture, a large number of people came to 
offer me articles of every nature which could be used 
to ornament or embellish the house, such as clocks, 
vases, pictures, flowers and so on. 

Monsieur de Duras, having been designated to 
take up his service with the King as Gentleman of 
the Chamber, had passed through the city to go and 
await the King at Boulogne. In spite of so many 
changes, he had preserved all the prejudices, all the 
hatred, all the littleness, all the rancors of other days, 
as if there had never been a Revolution. 

Monsieur de Poix had also taken the road for 
Boulogne, but he stopped at Amiens, very much 
disturbed as to the reception which he might receive 



from the King, on account of his son who was 
Chamberlain of the Emperor, and of his daughter- 
in-law who had been Lady of the Palace of the 
Empress. But I had no time to raise his courage, and 
I confided to my daughter, Charlotte, the task of 
talking with him while I superintended the arrange- 
ment of the table of twenty-five covers, which the 
King was to honor with his presence. I was in the 
dining-room when a gentleman entered and said 
several words to my servant in a tone which dis- 
pleased me. Approaching him, I demanded uncere- 
moniously why he was interfering. He endeavored to 
make an impression on me by saying that he be- 
longed to the suite of the King. His surprise was very 
great when he learned that I was determined to 
remain mistress of my house and that I was little 
disposed to let him give orders there. He went away 
grumbling. It was Monsieur de Blacas. 

A word from my husband had told me that the 
King had received him with much kindness, and that 
he was quartered at the Prefecture with the Duchesse 
d'Angouleme. All was ready at the appointed hour. 
Twelve young ladies of the city, at the head of whom 
was my daughter Cecile, were waiting to present 
their bouquets to Madame. 

The carriage in which were the King and Madame 
was drawn by the company of millers of Amiens who 
had demanded this ancient privilege. These worthy 
fellows, to the number of fifty or sixty, all attired at 
their own expense in new costumes of gray-white 
cloth, with large hats of white felt, then drew the 
Royal carriage to the Cathedral where the Bishop 



entoned the Te Deum. The doors of the Church had 
been kept closed and were not opened until the 
moment when the King was seated in his armchair 
at the foot of the altar. Then, in less than a moment, 
this immense church was filled to such a point that 
there was not room for another person. 

In thinking at this writing of the innumerable 
stupidities which later precipitated his brother, 
Charles X, from the throne, I have almost a feel- 
ing of shame at the recollection of the emotion 
which I felt on seeing this old man thanking God 
for having replaced him upon the throne of his 
fathers. Madame knelt at the foot of the altar, in 
tears, and my heart shared the sentiments which she 
felt. Alas! this illusion did not endure for twenty- 
four hours. 

The flour-dealers then conducted the King to the 
Prefecture where he received the whole city, men 
and women, before dinner, with that grace, with that 
presence of mind, with that charm which eminently 
distinguished him. At seven o'clock we sat down at 
the table. The dinner was excellent, the wines perfect, 
which particularly pleased the King, and which 
brought me many kind compliments. It was then for 
the first time that this simple provincial gentleman, 
Monsieur de Blacas, who had thought that he could 
issue his commands, discovered that in the wife of 
the Prefet he had to deal with a former Lady of 
Honor. He was very much confused by his mistake 
and paid me a thousand compliments in the endeavor 
to make me forget his first attitude, but without 



My cousin, Edward Jerningham, and his charming 
wife, had accompanied the King from England to 
France, and His Majesty stated with much kindness 
that Edward had been of great service to his cause, 
in the English journals, by the articles which he had 
written, which had had a very great success. Both 
Edward and his wife suggested that the extremely 
English costume of Madame would displease the 
Court of Napoleon, which was united at Compiegne 
to await the new sovereign. Both of them represented 
the necessity of not alienating sympathy at the very 
beginning. At their suggestion I spoke of the matter 
to Mile, de Choisy, Lady of Honor to Madame, and 
to Monsieur de Blacas who spoke about it to the 
King. But nothing could overcome the obstinacy of 
this Princesse. 

My son-in-law had ceased to be a Frenchman and 
had now become a subject of the new King of the 
Low Countries, William the First, who was the same 
Prince d'Orange whom I had seen in England under 
very different circumstances. He returned with my 
daughter to Brussels to his family, and this separa- 
tion was very grievous to me. I went back to Paris 
and we established ourselves, my husband and I, in 
a pretty apartment, 6 Rue de Varenne, where my 
son Humbert was also located. 

The very evening of my arrival, I went with Mme. 
de Duras to a fete which was given by Prince Schwar- 
zenberg, Generalissimo of the Austrian troops. There 
I saw all the conquerors and was witness of all the 
baseness with which they were surrounded and so to 
speak overwhelmed. What a curious spectacle for a 



philosophical mind! Everything recalled Napoleon: 
the furniture, the supper, the guests. The thought 
came to me that among all those who were united 
there, there were some who had trembled before the 
Emperor when he had vanquished them, and others 
who had formerly solicited his favor or even his 
smile, and that there was not one present who seemed 
worthy to be his conqueror. Certainly the situation 
was interesting, although profoundly sad. Mme. de 
Duras saw in it only the happiness of being the wife 
of the First Gentleman of the King's Chamber. The 
fall of the great man, the invasion of her country, the 
humiliation of being the host of the conquerors did 
not appear to trouble her. As for myself, I had a 
feeling of shame which was probably not shared by 
any one else. 

Monsieur de La Tour du Pin foresaw that the 
administrative career, although suited to his taste, 
would fall into a class inferior to that in which he had 
a right to be placed. He therefore desired to resume 
his rank in the diplomatic service where he had been 
before the Revolution. Monsieur de Talleyrand, 
Minister of Foreign Affairs, proposed to him the 
Embassy to The Hague. The new King of Holland 
desired it, and my husband willingly accepted this 
post, although he could have aspired to a higher 
mission. But a word from Monsieur de Talleyrand, 
telling him to accept it, gave him to understand that 
he was destined for other employment. 

My son Humbert was led away, alas, by the charm 
of entering the military household of the King. 
General Dupont, the Minister of War, was a former 



aide de camp of my father and professed for me a 
great attachment. Humbert, who was desirous of 
being married, preferred to remain at Paris rather 
than to go elsewhere to be Prefet in some little city 
at a distance. He was appointed Lieutenant of the 
Black Musketeers, a name which came from the color 
of their horses. This gave him the grade of Chef 
d'Escadron in the army. 




Monsieur de La Tour du Pin, Envoy to the Congress of Vienna. 
His Wife Accompanies Him to Brussels. Alexandre de 
Lameth, Prefet of Amiens. Life at Paris. Monsieur de 
Liedekerke Decorated with the Legion of Honor. Mme. 
de Liedekerke Leaves for Vienna with Her Husband. The 
Court of Louis XVIIL Two Balls at the Due de Berry's. 

Lord Wellington. News of the Debarkment of Na- 
poleon at Cannes. Madame de La Tour du Pin Decides 
to Leave for Brussels. She Visits the Minister of Finance. 

A Night of Anxiety. At Brussels. Visit to the King 
of Holland. Separation of the Congress of Vienna. 
Mission of Monsieur de La Tour du Pin to the Due 

AT the time it was decided to hold the Con- 
gress of Vienna, I happened to be one 
morning in the cabinet of Monsieur de 
Talleyrand. My husband had gone to Brussels to be 
present at the coronation of the new King, William 
the First, and to deliver his credentials. He was to 
return in a day or two. 

I was preparing to leave the cabinet of the Minister 
of Foreign Affairs and had already placed my hand 
on the handle of the door to open it, when looking 
at Monsieur de Talleyrand, I saw upon his face that 
expression with which I was familiar when he wished 
to do some one a good turn in his line. 

[-394 ] 


"When is Gouvernet coming back?" he said. 

"Why, tomorrow," I replied. 

"Well!" said he, "hasten his return, because he 
must set out for Vienna." 

"For Vienna!" I exclaimed. "And why?" 

"You understand nothing. He is going as Minister 
to Vienna while waiting for the Congress to open, 
when he will be one of the Ambassadors." 

I made another exclamation, and he continued : 

" It is a secret. Do not speak of it to any one, and 
send your husband to me as soon as he arrives." 

I waited impatiently, keeping the secret of the 
good news, except from my son Humbert. 

This nomination aroused a great deal of envious 
feeling towards my husband. Mme. de Duras was 
wild. She would like to have seen Monsieur de 
Chateaubriand obtain the post. Adrien de Laval was 
not even able to console himself with the promise of 
the Embassy to Spain. Every one cried out that it 
was an abuse because my husband had also kept his 
place at The Hague. 

We decided in the family, though with great 
regret on my part, that Monsieur de La Tour du Pin 
should leave alone for Vienna, and that I should 
remain at Paris to occupy myself with the marriage 
of Humbert. My husband wrote to Auguste, our 
son-in-law, who was desirous of entering the diplo- 
matic career in his country, and invited him to come 
to Vienna, either as his private secretary or simply as 
a looker-on, since, having become a subject of the 
Low Countries, he was no longer French. We thought 
that if Monsieur de La Tour du Pin remained at 



Vienna, after the Congress, we would have no dif- 
ficulty in obtaining from the King of Holland a 
position for Auguste as attache at the Vienna Le- 
gation. These projects, like many others, were upset 
by events both public and private. It was arranged 
that I should accompany my husband as far as 
Brussels. There he would be joined by his son-in-law 
and I would take my daughter and her child back to 
Paris with me. This plan was carried out. 

Our trip to Brussels and back passed very agree- 
ably, although I felt very sad and disappointed at 
not accompanying my husband to Vienna. There was 
no reason then to suppose that his absence would be 
prolonged as it was in reality. Besides, the assurance 
had been given me that two special couriers would 
set out every week from the Foreign Affairs which 
permitted me to hope that I would receive regularly 
news as fresh as possible from my husband. 

On our return to Paris, we found news from our 
travellers. I settled in my apartment and Charlotte 
took possession of the rooms previously occupied by 
her father. 

General Dupont, who was still very devoted to my 
interests, arranged to have the cross of the Legion 
,of Honor given to Auguste, as a reward for his 
excellent services as Sous-Prefet at Amiens, at the 
moment of the Restoration. I sent it to him at Vienna, 
and it gave him great pleasure. 

My poor Charlotte had the misfortune at this time 
to lose her little girl who was carried off in the short 
space of two days. The next day, Monsieur de Liede- 



kerke arrived unexpectedly from Vienna charged 
with dispatches. It was necessary for him to set out 
on his return the following day. The despair of 
Charlotte over the loss of her child suggested to me 
the thought of sending her to Vienna with her 
husband. As her father loved her tenderly, her 
presence there would be a great pleasure for him also. 
I possessed an excellent travelling caleche. I took 
charge of the purchase and packing, in all details, 
of the elegant toilettes to be worn by my daughter 
at the fetes of the coming Congress. Besides, I 
placed at her disposal my maid who was a very 
experienced person. Thanks to my usual activity, 
the resolution once made, the second day following 
my daughter was ready to set out. She left for 
Vienna with her husband, who was carrying dis- 
patches from Monsieur de Talleyrand who had not 
yet left Paris. 

I remained alone with Cecile, then fifteen years of 
age, and my two sons, Humbert and Aymar. 

It may be interesting to state how I passed my 
time after this restoration of the Monarchy. I went 
to the Tuileries when the King received the ladies, 
about once or twice a week. As a former Dame du 
Palais of the Queen, I had the "honors," that is to 
say, instead of mingling with the crowd of ladies who 
were assembled in the first salon, called "Diane," 
while waiting for the King to be rolled into the Throne 
Room, for he was not able to walk, I took my place 
immediately, as well as the other women who enjoyed 
the same privilege, on the benches which were ar- 



ranged around the Throne Room. There we found 
many gentlemen who had also the entrees, and, 
seated very comfortably, we talked until the moment 
when the King was announced, when we rose and 
took a more conventional and respectful attitude. 
Then we filed one by one before the Royal arm- 
chair. The King always had something droll or kind 
to say to me. 

This same winter, the Due de Berry gave two balls 
to which he invited all the principal members of the 
Bonaparte Party, the Duchesses de Rovigo, de Bas- 
sano and so on. None of them danced and all had a 
very disagreeable air, in spite of the advances and 
the attentions of the Prince and his aides de camp. 
Mme. de Duras and I took to one of these balls 
Albertine de Stael. After having obtained the consent 
of her mother, who, in spite of her fifty years, was 
always dressed herself like a tight-rope dancer, we 
had been permitted to dress her to our taste. Every 
one found her so changed and so improved that from 
that time on she abandoned her former custom of 
wearing English dresses. The Due de Broglie fell in 
love with her, and, if I am not mistaken, it was at 
one of these balls that he decided to demand her 
hand in marriage. 

Since I have named Mme. de Stael, this is the 
moment to say that shortly after my return to Paris, 
after the Restoration, I had renewed my former 
acquaintance with her. I had already seen her, never- 
theless, in 1800, when I arrived from England, a 
little before the time when Napoleon obliged her to 
leave Paris, and had also met her at different periods 



since then. At the time of the 18 Fructidor, she had 
shown herself very Revolutionary, carried away by 
her intimate relations with Benjamin Constant. Her 
last transformation had been accomplished in Eng- 
land whence she returned a Royalist. She received at 
her house all the notable personages from all the 
countries of Europe who were present in Paris during 
the winter of 1814 and 1815. 

I happened to be in her salon the evening of the 
day when the Duke of Wellington arrived at Paris. 
One hundred other persons, equally curious to see 
this personage, already well-known, were also there. 
My relations with the Duke went back to my child- 
hood. Our ages were about the same, and Lady 
Mornington, his mother, had been closely associated 
with my grandmother, Madame de Rothe. Young 
Arthur Wellesley, his sister Lady Anne and I 
had passed many evenings together. Later I again 
met Lady Anne in England at Hampton Court, when 
I went to see the old Stadtholder, the Prince d'Orange. 
I was received by the Duke as an old friend. In this 
salon where all eyes were fixed upon him, but where 
he knew hardly any one, he was very glad to find 
some one to talk with him. 

During the sojourn that the Duke made at Paris, 
before going to the Congress of Vienna, I met him 
almost every day. I presented my son Humbert to 
him, and he showed him much kindness. Humbert 
spoke English perfectly, as he had become familiar 
with this language, both in America and in England. 
He had also a good acquaintance with Italian. This 
winter when Paris was full of strangers, he was 



frequently taken for either an Englishman or an 
Italian. On leaving Paris, the Duke of Wellington 
set out for the Congress where Monsieur de La Tour 
du Pin was already present. 

One evening during the first days of March, I was 
in the apartment of Mme. de Duras at the Tuileries. 
There were many people there, including General 
Dulauloy and his wife. Mme. Dulauloy appeared to 
fear something and showed a great desire to leave, 
especially when Monsieur de Duras passed through 
the salon after the King had retired. She rose and 
left the room taking her husband with her. I remained 
behind and waited for Mme. de Duras to return 
from the room of her husband where she had fol- 
lowed him. I saw that she was very much troubled 
and she said to me : " Something terrible has happened, 
but Amedee is not willing to explain." I then returned 
home accompanied by Humbert and we made all the 
conjectures possible except the right one. The follow- 
ing morning the news of the debarkation of Napoleon 
at the Golfe Juan spread through Paris. The news 
was brought by Lord Lucan. Having left the evening 
before for Italy, at several stages from Paris, he met 
the courier who was coming from Lyon with the 
news. He immediately turned around and came back 
to Paris where he spread the news. 

The results of this event belong to the domain of 
history. I will therefore only recount those which 
concern me personally. 

I was too well acquainted, on the one hand, with 
the Court, and on the other, with the strength of the 



Napoleonic Party, to have for a moment any doubts 
regarding the efficacy of the measures which would 
be adopted. 

Monsieur de La Tour du Pin, although one of the 
four Ambassadors of France at the Congress of 
Vienna and employed per interim in the diplomatic 
affairs of France, in Austria, had nevertheless retained 
his post of French Minister to Holland. I felt that I 
could not remain at Paris when Napoleon was about 
to arrive there and that I ought to go to Brussels or 
The Hague. My plans were submitted to the King by 
Monsieur de Jaucourt, Minister of Foreign Affairs 
per interim. He approved of my purpose and I there- 
fore prepared to leave. 

Humbert, as soon as the departure of the King was 
decided upon, was not able to leave the quarters of 
the Musketeers. Consequently, I was obliged to 
complete alone all the arrangements for my trip 
which I was about to undertake with my daughter 
Cecile, sixteen years of age, and my son Aymar who 
was eight. 

In the evening, I went to the bureau of the 
Minister of Finance to obtain the amount of the 
salary due Monsieur de La Tour du Pin, which I 
wished to take with me. The same evening, 19 March, 
1815, the King was to leave at midnight. On entering 
the cabinet of the Minister, Monsieur Louis, with 
whom I had been well acquainted for a long time, 
I found him in a state of terrible rage. Showing me a 
hundred little barrels, similar to those in which 
anchovies are sold, he said: 

"Look, I have had these barrels prepared, each of 
[401 ] 


which contains 10,000 or 15,000 francs in gold. I 
wished to confide one to each of the Body Guard 
ordered to accompany the King, and these gentlemen 
refused to take charge of them, under the pretext 
that it was not part of their duty." 

While saying these words, he signed my voucher 
for the sum which I was to receive at once. I next 
took the money to my man-of-affairs in order to have 
him change it into gold. I had strongly urged Mon- 
sieur Louis to let me have one of the barrels of gold 
in his cabinet, but he absolutely refused. When I 
left my man-of-affairs, which was after nine o'clock, 
he told me to come back at eleven o'clock and that 
he would then give me the gold which he had procured. 

I then went to see my aunt, Madame d'Henin, who 
had also decided to leave, to make my adieux. I 
found her in company with Monsieur de Lally in a 
state of great trouble, packing, gesticulating, urging 
her fat friend who was finishing nothing. On seeing 
me she cried: 

"But are you not going to leave, that you have 
such a tranquil air?" 

I left her in the midst of her packages to go and 
take leave of Monsieur de Jaucourt, my Minister, to 
have him vise my passport and obtain an order for 
the post horses, a very necessary thing, for it would 
probably have been impossible to find a single one 
at midnight. Finally, at exactly eleven o'clock, I re- 
turned to my man-of-affairs, Rue Sainte-Anne. He 
handed me 12,000 francs in rolls of napoleons. I had 
a cabriolet hired by the hour. Getting into the 
carriage, I said to the coachman: "Home." I was 



living at 6 Rue de Varenne. We wished to take the 
route by the Carrousel, but, on account of the de- 
parture of the King, no one was allowed to pass. My 
coachman then kept along the Rue de Rivoli. At the 
moment we arrived at the Pont Louis XVI (now 
Pont de la Concorde) he heard the clock strike 
twelve. Stopping short, he declared that for nothing 
in the world would he go another step. His home he 
said was at Chaillot, and the gates would be closed 
at midnight. He demanded to be paid and invited me 
to continue my route on foot. 

I used in vain all of my eloquence and promised 
him a superb pourboire if he would take me only to 
the point where we met another hack. He refused. I 
was obliged to descend from the carriage, although 
seized with a mortal terror. Fortunately, at this 
moment I heard the noise of a carriage. It was a 
hack, and vacant, thank God ! I entered and offered 
the coachman a generous gratification to take me 

As soon as I arrived I sent in search of the post 
horses. In spite of my service extraordinaire, in spite 
of the signature of the Minister, I waited until six 
o'clock in the morning for two miserable horses 
which were to be attached to a little caleche in which 
I was to take my place with Aymar, Cecile and a 
little Belgian maid whom I had kept in my service. 

Our journey was not marked by any incident. We 
arrived safe and sound at Brussels where I took a 
little lodging Rue de Namur, with a lawyer named 
Monsieur Huart. He has been since, I think, Minister 
of Leopold I, King of the Belgians. I was very im- 



patient to receive news from Vienna. The dispatch 
of the couriers who were usually sent to the Foreign 
Affairs and by whom my husband and my daughter 
Charlotte wrote me, had undoubtedly been in- 
terrupted. Although I had advised them both of my 
departure for Brussels, I had good reason to feel 
that I would be a long time without news, which 
indeed was what happened. At Brussels I found all 
the persons of my acquaintance, both Belgian and 
French. Every one received me cordially, with the 
exception of the Bonapartists. 

The King of Holland, William the First, was at 
Brussels. I went to see him and he received me 
cordially. We were seated upon a sofa in the former 
cabinet of Monsieur de La Tour du Pin. Turning to 
me he said : 

"In this salon I try to find the inspiration to make 
myself loved like your husband." 

Alas! the poor Prince did not succeed. I spoke to 
him urgently regarding the interests of my son-in- 
law who had now become his subject. Probably it 
was this conversation which opened to him the 
diplomatic career. 

A little later my daughter Charlotte arrived alone 
from Vienna, accompanied by her maid and the va- 
let of her father. She informed me that the Congress 
had dissolved at the news of the landing of Nap- 
oleon at Cannes. Every one had left in haste and 
the Powers who were all ready to become enemies 
had become reconciled before the imminent danger. 
They only thought now of making France pay dearly 
for the welcome given the hero who in making her so 



powerful and glorious had raised up for her so many 

In the southern provinces, the Due d'Angouleme 
had brought together a kind of party which might 
have become important under another chief. Some 
one was wanted to take to this Prince the assurance 
of the union of the Powers to overwhelm Napoleon. 
Monsieur de La Tour du Pin, with his usual zeal, 
accepted the mission of going to Marseille to join the 
Due. He set out accompanied by his son-in-law, who 
went as far as Genoa, whence he brought me at 
Brussels news from my husband. Young Liedekerke 
rejoined his wife in that city, and I was able to inform 
him on his arrival that I had assured his position 
with the King, his master. 



Life of Monsieur and Madame de La Tour du Pin After the 
First Restoration. The Dillon Family. Genealogical 
Table. Biographical Notes. History of the Dillon 

events of the life of Monsieur and 
Madame de La Tour du Pin, up to the 
epoch of the Hundred Days, have been told 
us in the foregoing Recollections. 

At the moment of the debarkation of Napoleon at 
the Golfe Juan, Monsieur de La Tour du Pin was at 
the capital of Austria where he had been sent after 
the First Restoration, first as Minister per interim 
and then as one of the Plenipotentiaries of France to 
the Congress of Vienna. 

After having signed the famous declaration of the 
thirteenth of March, 1815, which placed Napoleon 
outside the law, he went, accompanied by Monsieur 
de Talleyrand, to Toulon, to endeavor to hold 
Marechal Massena, Governor of that place, in the 
service of the King, and from there to Marseille to 
confer with the Due de Riviere. 

After this, his mission was to rejoin in the South 
the Due d'Angouleme, who had received from the 
King the order to go to Nimes. But having learned at 
Marseille the news of the surrender of this Prince at 
Pont-Saint-Esprit, after having taken, in concert with 
the Due de Riviere, some indispensable measures, he 



chartered a vessel in order to go to Genoa, whence 
he expected to return to Vienna. The bad weather, or 
rather the ill-will of the captain of this vessel, forced 
him to go to Barcelona. 

From there, by way of Madrid, he proceeded to 
Lisbon where he embarked for London. During the 
twenty-four hours that he remained in London, he 
had the honor of seeing the Duchesse d'Angouleme 
and put her in touch with the situation in France. 
The night following this interview, he left for Dover, 
passed over to Ostende and went to Ghent where he 
joined Louis XVIII. 

After the battle of Waterloo, Monsieur de La Tour 
du Pin returned to Paris, at the same time with the 

In the month of August following, he took part in 
the general elections as President of the Electoral 
College of the Department of the Somme. The 
seventeenth of the same month, he was named Peer 
of France by Louis XVIII. 

As stated in the memoirs of his wife, Monsieur de 
La Tour du Pin, while acting as one of the Pleni- 
potentiaries of France at the Congress of Vienna, had 
kept the post to which he had been appointed a short 
time before of Minister to the Low Countries. In 
October, 1815, he went to Brussels to hand his 
credentials to the King, William I, and be present at 
his coronation. 

Having returned to Paris, a short time later, to 
take his seat in the Chamber of Peers, Monsieur de 
La Tour du Pin took part during the first days of 
December in the debates over the trial of Marechal 



Ney. He voted in favor of his condemnation, but at 
the same time made a formal declaration in which he 
stated that he thought that the Marechal was worthy 
of the clemency of the King. 

As is well known, the clemency of the King was not 

About the first of February, 1816, Monsieur de La 
Tour du Pin returned to The Hague to take up his 
duties as Minister Plenipotentiary to the Court of 
the Low Countries. 

In the month of September, 1818, the Due de 
Richelieu summoned Monsieur de La Tour du Pin 
to act as his assistant at the Congress at Aix-la- 
Chapelle, the object of which was to arrange the 
conditions for the evacuation of the French territory 
by the foreign troops. Immediately after the closing 
of this Congress, Monsieur de La Tour du Pin re- 
turned to his post at The Hague. At the end of the 
year 1819, he went again to Paris to take his seat 
in the Chamber of Peers, at the opening of the session, 
and was there at the time of the assassination of the 
Due de Berry, the thirteenth of February, 1820. 

A little later in 1820, he was appointed Ambassador 
at Turin and immediately joined his post, which he 
did not leave until the month of January, 1830, 
except for a sojourn of four months at Rome in 1824. 

In the month of January, 1830, Monsieur de La 
Tour du Pin decided to retire from public life, as he 
was worn out and also dissatisfied at the turn taken 
by events. He accordingly took up his residence at 
Versailles, where he was living at the time of the 
Revolution of July, 1830. 


The second of August at three o'clock in the morn- 
ing, he left Versailles and directed his steps towards 
Orleans, thinking that the King, in leaving by way of 
Rambouillet, would take this route to go to Tours. 
The following day, learning of the abdication of the 
King and of his departure for Cherbourg, Monsieur 
de La Tour du Pin resolved to proceed to his estate 
at Le Bouilh, near Saint Andre-de-Cubzac. From there 
he addressed a letter to Monsieur Pasquier, President 
of the Chamber of Peers, in which he advised him 
that he was not willing to take the new oath of 
allegiance which was demanded of him, because it 
was directly contrary to that which he had already 
taken to Charles X. This letter was laid before the 
Chamber during the session of the twenty-first of 
August and appeared in the "Moniteur" the following 

The events of the month of August had at the 
same time put an end to the mission with which 
Monsieur de La Tour du Pin was charged, in connec- 
tion with the King of Sardinia. Free, therefore, from 
all engagements, he passed the end of the year 1830 
quietly on his estate at Le Bouilh. During the course 
of the year 1831, his youngest son Aymar became 
involved in the movement in the Vendee and was 
arrested and put in prison. His father not wishing to 
be separated from him spent the four months of his 
detention with him. As soon as he was liberated in 
April, 1832, Aymar again went to the Vendee to 
rejoin the Duchesse de Berry. The failure of this 
attempt is well known. 

After the arrest of Madame, Aymar was once more 



pursued, but he succeeded in finding refuge in the 
Island of Jersey in the month of November, 1832. 
During his absence, he was condemned to death on 
account of his participation in the attempt of the 
Duchesse de Berry. 

Several of the newspapers having attacked his son 
in terms which appeared outrageous to Monsieur de 
La Tour du Pin, the latter came vigorously to the 
defence of his son in a letter which was published by 
the "Guyenne." As a result, he was put on trial before 
the Cour d'Assises at Bordeaux, and the fifteenth of 
December, 1832, was condemned to pay a fine of 
1,000 francs and to three months in prison. These 
three months, from the twentieth of December, 1832, 
to the twentieth of March, 1833, ne was confined 
at the Fort du Ha, in company with his wife who 
refused to be separated from him. 

On leaving prison, Monsieur de La Tour du Pin 
settled at Nice, where his wife and son came to rejoin 
him. Having been compelled by political reasons to 
leave this city, he proceeded to Turin and from there 
to Pignerol, where he remained until the twenty- 
eighth of August, 1834. 

At this time urgent business interests recalled 
Monsieur and Madame de La Tour du Pin to France. 
Here they remained exactly one year, and then again 
left France with the plan of settling at Lucerne, where 
they arrived towards the end of the month of No- 
vember, 1835, after a sojourn of several weeks at Suze. 

The twenty-sixth of February, 1837, Monsieur de 
La Tour du Pin died at Lucerne at the age of seventy- 
eight years. 



The Marquise de La Tour du Pin has recounted to 
us in her Recollections all the notable events of the 
period of her life comprised between her childhood 
and the end of the month of March, 1815. Her history 
from that time on was closely connected with that of 
her husband, whom she followed to The Hague and 
later to Turin. She also accompanied him to Italy 
and then to Switzerland in the voluntary exile which 
he imposed upon himself, in order to share that of 
his son, Aymar, and she was at the bed-side of her 
husband at Lucerne at the moment of his death in 
February, 1837. 

Some time afterwards, with her son, Aymar, she 
left for Italy and took up her final residence at Pisa 
in Tuscany, where she died the second of April, 1853, 
at the age of eighty-three years. 

The Marquise de La Tour du Pin had six children 
three sons, Humbert, Edward and Aymar, and 
three daughters, Seraphine, Charlotte and Cecile. 
Two of her children, Seraphine and Edward, died in 

In the interval between March, 1815, the date at 
which the Recollections end, and the first of January, 
1820, the date at which Madame de La Tour du Pin 
began to write her memoirs, she lost two other 
children, her eldest son, Humbert, and her youngest 
daughter, Cecile. 

Humbert de La Tour du Pin was born at Paris the 
nineteenth of May, 1790. During the last years of 
the Empire he was Sous-Prefet at Florence and 


later at Sens. At the time of the First Restora- 
tion he was appointed officer in the corps of the 
Mousquetaires Noirs and became later aide de 
camp of Marechal Victor, Due de Bellune. He died 
under circumstances j which were very sad and very 

At the time of his appointment to the Military 
Household of the Due de Bellune, among the aides 
de camp of the Marechal was the Commandant 
Malandin, an officer who had risen from the ranks. 
He was rough and uneducated, but audacious and 
courageous, with an open and loyal heart, but very 
susceptible upon the point of honor. He had won 
every one of his grades upon the different fields of 
battle of the Empire. 

The very day that Humbert took up for the first 
time his service with the Marechal, on entering the 
quarters of the aides de camp, he encountered the 
Commandant Malandin. The latter addressed him in 
a vein of pleasantry, regarding some unimportant 
detail of his uniform, but in terms which were coarse 
and unbecoming. 

Before Humbert could make any reply, the 
Marechal entered, upon a tour of inspection, and, 
while there, gave the Commandant a mission to the 
Minister of War. 

As soon as Humbert was able to leave, he went im- 
mediately to the hotel occupied by his family and 
entered the cabinet of his father. Here he recounted 
the incident, without omitting any of the details, 
except that he stated that the person involved was 
not himself, but one of his friends. He then asked 


his father what "his friend" ought to do. His father 
replied : 

"Challenge the aggressor." 

"And if apologies are offered?" 

"Refuse them." 

That evening Humbert sent a challenge to Ma- 
land in. The meeting was arranged for the following 
morning in the Bois de Boulogne. The weapons selected 
were pistols and the distance was twenty-five paces. 

The duel took place the following morning in a 
clearing in the Bois de Boulogne. 

When the distance had been measured off and the 
adversaries had been placed in position, before the 
signal had been given, the Commandant Malandin 
gave a sign that he wished to speak, and in a loud 
tone he pronounced these words : 

"Monsieur de La Tour du Pin, in the presence of 
these gentlemen, I think that I ought once more to 
declare to you that I regret my wretched pleasantry. 
Two good fellows ought not to kill each other for 

Humbert hesitated a moment and then walked 
slowly towards the Commandant. All the assistants 
had a feeling of secret relief at seeing the favorable 
turn which the affair had taken. But when the young 
man arrived close to his adversary, instead of offer- 
ing him his hand, he raised his arm and with the 
butt of his pistol struck Malandin on the forehead. 

"Monsieur," he said, "I think that now you will 
not refuse to fight!" and he returned to his place. 

After such a scene, only one denouement was 
possible. The signal was given; Monsieur de La Tour 


du Pin fired first and missed. His adversary, the 
Commandant, then fired in turn and shot Humbert 
through the heart. 

Cecile de La Tour du Pin was born the thirteenth 
of February, 1800, under circumstances which have 
been related in the Recollections, at Wildeshausen, 
a little city upon the borders of Hanover and of the 
Grand-Duchy of Oldenburg. During the month of 
September, 1816, at The Hague, where Monsieur de 
La Tour du Pin occupied the post of Minister Plenipo- 
tentiary of France to the Court of the Low Countries, 
she became the fiancee of Charles, Comte de Mercy- 
Argent eau. 

The latter at this time had served for ten years in 
the French army with great distinction. He had 
taken part in the campaigns of the Empire and had 
gained particular renown at the battle of Hanau 
where he received the cross of the Legion of Honor. 

Shortly afterwards, Cecile was taken ill and, in 
spite of every care, continued to grow worse. She 
was ordered by her physicians to go from The Hague 
to Nice in order to find a milder climate, but she 
did not recover her health and died in that city 
the twentieth of March, 1817, and was buried in 
the cemetery there. 

On the death of his fiancee, Comte Charles de 
Mercy-Argenteau abandoned himself to despair. Re- 
nouncing his brilliant career in the army, he left the 
military service and entered into orders. He became 
Archfcishop of Tyr, and died the sixteenth of No- 
vember, 1879, at the age of ninety-three years. 



During their residence at. Turin, which has been 
spoken of above, Monsieur and Madame de La Tour 
du Pin were once more called upon to endure a new 
sorrow. Charlotte, the only daughter who was still 
living, and who had married the twentieth of April, 
1813, at Brussels, Comte Auguste de Liedekerke- 
Beaufort, died at the Chateau of Faublanc, near 
Lucerne, the first of September, 1822. At that time 
she was on her way from Turin to rejoin at Berne 
her husband who was at that time Minister of the 
Low Countries near the Helvetian Republic. 

Charlotte left two children a son, Hadelin, born 
at Brussels, n March, 1816, and a daughter, Cecile, 
born at The Hague, 24 August, 1818. 

After the death of Charlotte, of the six children, 
Aymar alone survived. On the death of the author, 
the manuscript of the "Journal d'une Femme de 
Cinquante Ans" passed into the hands of her son, 
Aymar, Marquis de La Tour du Pin, who had been 
born at Le Bouilh, the eighteenth of October, 1806. 
On his death at Fontainebleau the fourth of March, 
1867, he left the manuscript to his nephew, Hadelin, 
Comte de Liedekerke-Beaufort, who himself confided 
it a short time before his death to one of his sons, the 
Colonel Comte Aymar de Liedekerke-Beaufort, who 
published it at Paris in 1906. 

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,i THEOBALD, VII Viscount Dillon, died 1691; married Mary, 
daughter Sir Henry Talbot. 

2 HENRY, VIII Viscount Dillon, died 13 January, 1714; 

married 1687, Frances Hamilton. 

3 ARTHUR, first Colonel- Proprietor of the Regiment of Dillon 

in the service of France, died 5 February, 1733; married 
Christina, daughter Ralph Sheldon. (From Ralph Sheldon 
were descended the cousins of the author, so frequently 
mentioned in her memoirs.) Children: five sons and five 

4 RICHARD, IX Viscount Dillon, born 1688; died 1737; mar- 

ried Lady Bridget Burke, daughter Earl of Clanricarde. 
Daughter FRANCES who married her cousin (5) CHARLES. 

5 CHARLES, X Viscount Dillon, second Colonel of the Regi- 

ment, died 1741; married his cousin FRANCES (above). No 

6 HENRY, XI Viscount Dillon, third Colonel, born 1705; died 

1787; married Lady Charlotte Lee, daughter second Earl 
of Lichfield, grandson of King Charles II by the Duchess 
of Cleveland. 

7 JAMES, fourth Colonel, killed at Fontenoy, 1745. Never 


8 EDWARD, fifth Colonel, died 1747 from wounds at battle of 

Lawfeld. Never married. 

9 ARTHUR-RICHARD, born 1721; died 5 July, 1806; was Arch- 

bishop of Narbonne. 

10 LAURA, married Lucius Gary, Viscount Falkland. She died 

1741. One daughter (16) LUCY. 

11 CHARLES, XII Viscount Dillon, born 1745; died 1813; 

married Henrietta Phipps, daughter Lord Mulgrave. Two 



who married Sir Thomas Webb. He also had by Marie 
Rogier, whom he married after death of his wife, a natural 
daughter, CHARLOTTE, who married Lord Frederick Beau- 
clerk, brother of the Duke of Saint Albans. 

12 ARTHUR, sixth Colonel, born 3 September, 1750; executed 

13 April, 1794; married, ist, his cousin (18) THERESE- 
the author of "Le Journal d'une femme de cinquante 
ans." He married, 2d, Marie de Girardin, widow of Comte 
de La Touche, and first cousin of the Empress Josephine. 
One daughter FRANCES, who married General Bertrand, 
aide de camp of the Emperor Napoleon. 

13 HENRY, Colonel of the Regiment in England, born 1759; 

married Frances Trant, and had two sons and two 

14 FRANCES, born 1747; married 1767, Sir William Jerningham. 

15 CHARLOTTE, married 1777, Earl of Kenmare. One daughter 

Charlotte, married Goold. 

1 6 LUCY CARY, married General de Rothe. One daughter (18) 

THERESE-LUCY, who married her cousin (12) ARTHUR 
DILLON. One daughter (17) * HENRIETTE-LUCY. 

17 HENRIETTE-LUCY DILLON, author of the "Recollections" 

was born at Paris, 25 February, 1770; died at Pisa, Italy, 
2 April, 1853; married 21 May, 1787, FREDERIC-SERAPHIN, 
Comte de Gouvernet, later MARQUIS DE LA TOUR DU PIN. 
Two sons (19) HUMBERT and (22) AYMAR, and two daugh- 
ters (20) CHARLOTTE and (21) CECILE, besides two children 
who died young. 

18 THERESE-LUCY DE ROTHE, married 1768, her cousin (12) 

ARTHUR DILLON. She died 7 September, 1782. One 
daughter (17) HENRIETTE-LUCY. 

19 HUMBERT DE LA TOUR DU PIN, born 19 May, 1790; died 

28 January, 1816. 

20 CHARLOTTE DE LA TOUR DU PIN, born 4 November, 1796; 

died I September, 1822; married 20 April, 1815, the Comte 


de Liedekerke-Beaufort. Children: one son and one 
daughter: HADELIN, Comte de Liedekerke-Beaufort, born 
at Brussels n March, 1816; died at Brussels 3 January, 
1890; CECILE, born at The Hague, 24 August, 1818, died 
at Paris 19 August, 1893; married Baron Ghislain, 28 
December, 1841. 

born at Brussels, 19 May, 1846; died at Paris, March, 
1909; married at Paris, 16 September, 1885, Louise Cecile 
Beranger. Children: three sons and one daughter: Hadelin, 
born at Paris, 8 October, 1887; Aymar, born at Paris 
21 October, 1888; and Humbert, born at Paris 14 Sep- 
tember, 1890. 

21 CECILE DE LA TOUR DU PIN, born 13 February, 1800; died 

20 March, 1817; never married. 

22 AYMAR DE LA TOUR DU PIN, born at Le Bouilh 18 October, 

1806; died at Fontainebleau 4 March, 1867; married; son: 
HUMBERT ADELIN MARIE, born 15 May, 1855; married 
10 October, 1883, Gabrielle, daughter Comte Aynard de 
Clermont Tonnerre: three daughters. 




Theobald (i), Lord Viscount Dillon, Peer of Ireland, chief at 
this epoch of the illustrious house of that name, raised at the 
end of the year 1688, upon his lands in Ireland, and equipped 
at his own expense, a Regiment for the service of King James II. 
In the course of the year 1690, this Regiment passed into the 
service of France, under the orders of Arthur Dillon (3), his 
second son. It formed a part of a corps of 5371 men of the Irish 
troops who debarked at Brest on I May, 1690, and who were 
given by King James II to Louis XIV in exchange for six 
French regiments. 

After the capitulation of Limerick, in 1691, the number of 
Irish troops who entered the service of France was considerably 
augmented and reached a total of more than 20,000 men. From 
that time to the date of the French Revolution they served 
under the name of the "Irish Brigade" in all the wars of France 
and always with the most brilliant distinction. 

Arthur Dillon (3), first Colonel of the Dillon Regiment, became 
Lieutenant General at the age of thirty-three years, having won 
this rank through his glorious deeds. He was for a long time 
Commandant in Dauphine and Governor of Toulon. On 28 
jAugust, 1709, near Briancon, he defeated General Rehbinder, 
Commander of the troops of Savoy, who wished to invade 
France. He finished a glorious career in 1733, at the age of 
sixty-three years. He left five sons and five daughters. 

In 1728, he had transferred his Regiment to Charles Dillon (5), 
the eldest of his sons. Charles Dillon, having become the head of 
the family in 1737, by the death of Richard (4), Lord Dillon, 
his cousin, kept the Regiment temporarily and then transferred 
it to his brother Henry Dillon (6). 

Henry Dillon (6) on the death of Charles Lord Dillon in 1741, 
succeeded to the titles and property of his family, but neverthe- 
less kept the command of the Regiment at the head of which he 



served until 1743. After the Battle of Dettingen the English, 
who up to that time had been auxiliaries, became the principal 
parties in the war. Lord Henry Dillon, in order to preserve his 
title of Peer of England and to avoid the confiscation of his 
estates, was, owing to this fact, obliged to leave the service of 
France, which he did with the consent and even by the advice 
of Louis XV. 

James Dillon (7), Chevalier of Malta, the third brother, was 
then promoted to be Colonel of the Regiment, at the head of 
which he was killed at Fontenoy in 1745. 

Edward Dillon (8), the fourth brother, was appointed Colonel 
of the Regiment by Louis XV on the field of battle, and like 
his brother found his death in action at the head of the Regiment 
at the Battle of Lawfeld in 1747. 

Arthur Richard Dillon (9), the fifth brother, alone survived, 
but he had entered into orders and died in England in 1806 as 
Archbishop of Narbonne. 

At the death of Edward Dillon (8), killed at Lawfeld, Louis XV 
was strongly urged to dispose of the Regiment under the pretext 
that there was no longer a Dillon to take command. But the 
King replied that Henry, Lord Dillon, had just been married 
and that he was not willing to consent to see go out of the family 
a property cemented with so much blood and of so remarkable 
services, so long as it was possible to hope for an heir. The 
Dillon Regiment consequently remained after 1747 under the 
successive command of a Lieutenant- Colonel and of two Colonel- 
Commandants until the Honorable Arthur Dillon (12), second 
son of Henry, Lord Dillon, was put in charge, on 25 August, 
1767, at the age of seventeen years. 

At the epoch of the French Revolution, the Irish Brigade 
was reduced to three infantry regiments, namely: Dillon, Ber- 
wick and Walsh. In 1794, what was left of the three regiments, 
including the greater part of the officers who had emigrated to 
England, passed into the service of the King of England. The 
Dillon Regiment, or the part still in existence, to which England 
was willing to attribute the name, was given to the Honorable 
Henry Dillon (13), third son of Henry, Lord Dillon, and brother 


of Arthur Dillon, last Colonel of the Regiment in France, who 
had perished on the scaffold in 1794. This new Regiment was 
filled up by recruiting on the same lands which had furnished 
the first soldiers in 1688. A little later it embarked for Jamaica 
where its losses were so considerable that it was disbanded. The 
flags and ensigns of the Regiment were transported to Ireland 
and carefully deposited in the hands of Charles, Lord Dillon, 
chief of the family and eldest brother of the Colonel.